South Korean girl band Black Pink draw controversy over behavior with pandas
Published: Nov 05, 2020 11:33 PM

Photo: screenshot of video posted on Sina Weibo

South Korean girl band Black Pink has been involved in controversy on Chinese social media following a variety show in which they showed a lack of care around a giant panda and a baby panda while wearing makeup, which could cause health risks for the rare animals.

A video clip went viral on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo showing the girls in a South Korean show in which they visited the giant panda Huani, who arrived in the country from China in 2016, and her three-month-old baby Fubao.  

During the show, the members of the band were wearing makeup and sometimes when touching the pandas they did not wear gloves and face masks. Some of them also have pets at home. All this was noted as wrong and dangerous when being close to pandas.

"Especially those who keep a dog at home, they are dangerous for pandas. There is a risk of spreading canine distemper," Diao Kunpeng, a panda expert and director of Beijing Qingye Ecology, told the Global Times on Thursday. If these entertainers were not disinfected, it would create more risks.

In 2015, five giant pandas died in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province because of canine distemper.

The related hashtag "South Korean entertainers touched giant pandas in wrong ways" has been viewed more than 550 million times as of Thursday afternoon on Sina Weibo.

Chinese netizens care a lot about the health of overseas giant pandas and this behavior enraged them.

"All the people in this incident have a responsibility, including Black Pink, producers of the show and keepers of Huani and Fubao. Fubao is so small that it just has weak immunity. Even if members of Black Pink have no awareness of matters needing attention, why do others not inform them?" said one Chinese fan of Black Pink surnamed Li.

Many netizens called on South Korean keepers of pandas to be more careful and to decrease such close contact between ordinary people and pandas.


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