Hong Kong pop star Joey Yung Cho-yee has apologised for a social media post that some people in mainland China said was evidence of her supporting the anti-government protests in the city.
Yung, 39, apologised on Tuesday for a now-deleted Facebook photo of herself wearing a surgical face mask while on a plane, along with a lyric about flying taken from her song Airport, which she posted on Sunday.
She also denied supporting Hong Kong independence, which mainland state media frequently claims is the main aim of the anti-government protests.
Protesters in the city have taken to wearing face masks of all kinds as a symbol of defiance against the anti-mask law passed on October 4.
“I never thought that a lyric and a selfie I posted on the spot would attract this storm. I am extremely sorry for my carelessness regarding this matter,” Yung wrote.
“Today I think I should give a clear explanation to everyone. In that day’s post, I only wanted to express how excited I was to be taking off for work … as a public figure, I did not think my own words and actions would cause such a severe impact.
“I love the motherland, I love Hong Kong, I have never supported Hong Kong independence.”
The apology might have come too late for Hunan Television, which appeared to have cut Yung from the list of performers at a star-studded gala concert it plans to broadcast on Monday.
The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
A Weibo “super topic” discussion about Yung to promote her television appearance was also unavailable on Tuesday.
Social media users attacked Yung over the initial post, with some calling for her to leave the mainland. Others referred to comments the singer had made earlier about Hong Kong in which she appeared to side with the students behind the 2014 Occupy Central pro-democracy movement.
She also wrote “sleepless night” on Instagram the day after a Hong Kong protester fell to his death from a shopping centre in a suspected suicide on June 15.
“Which country do you love? Shouldn’t a public figure attach great importance to their words and actions? No wonder these ‘coincidences’ happen to her every time, she must be very unlucky,” read one comment that was liked nearly 10,000 times.
Yung is not the only Hong Kong celebrity to have been caught up in an online dispute over the protests in the city.
In June, actress Charmaine Sheh Sze-man apologised for liking and then unliking an Instagram post supporting the Hong Kong protests, after the move sparked a row on social media.
Sheh is known on the mainland for her leading role in the smash-hit period drama Story of Yanxi Palace, and is involved in two other major drama series.
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