Jaden Smith events delayed amid accusations of controversial comments on China
Published: Aug 28, 2023 03:05 AM
Photo: Screenshot from website

Photo: Screenshot from website

Events in China involving US actor Will Smith's son Jaden Smith set for Friday to Sunday were delayed after the rapper was accused of making racist comments about China. Refunds for the events are currently being carried out.
A post on Chinese lifestyle app Xiaohongshu has taken over Chinese social media. The post claims that a Chinese netizen was traveling on a high-speed train from Kyoto to Tokyo in Japan on August 19, and happened to be in the same cabin with Smith and his team. 

"Someone asked Jaden his opinion on different countries including China. Jaden replied with 'F*** China.' Smith repeatedly made derogatory remarks about China," the post wrote. 

The post on Xiaohongshu said that Smith and his team were drinking, laughing, banging the tray table and making these offensive comments very loudly. The train attendants and someone who appeared to be a passenger had to talk to the crowd several times to get them to lower their voices. The lot didn't seem to care despite other people's dissatisfaction.
The witness also posted photos and a video of Smith and his team on the train. "Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture their offensive comments in the video," the post read.  

While some fans posted pictures showing themselves unfollowing Smith on social media to express their disappointment and anger toward his alleged remarks, comments flooded his Instagram page, urging him to give a further explanation or apology. The rapper didn't respond, instead comments for his recent posts were turned off. An Instagram story announcing that his events in China would be rescheduled was also posted. 

"Rescheduled dates will be announced soon," he wrote.   

The rapper was originally scheduled to perform in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen on Friday to Sunday. On Wednesday the event organizer in China announced that refunds would be issued within five to seven business days.   

On Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo, the hashtag related to Jaden Smith has reached more than 466,000 views.

Some fans noted that there was no actual proof that the rapper made any racist comments and that the original post was just a one sided story. They called for the witness to provide more concrete proof.

Searching for the witness on Xiaohongshu on Sunday, the Global Times could not find the original user.  

Some argued that if he hadn't made up his story, he would have clarified the misunderstanding. 

This post was particularly shocking to Chinese netizens, given the Smith family's historically positive ties with China. Will Smith, Jaden's father, has maintained accounts on major Chinese social platforms and has also endorsed many Chinese products in the past. His popularity among Chinese audiences is evident. Notably, he and a young Jaden's performance in the movie The Pursuit of Happynes is much beloved by Chinese fans.

Jaden himself isn't a stranger to China either. As a child actor, he worked alongside Hong Kong action movie superstar Jackie Chan in the remake of The Karate Kid. As an adult and a musician, he's visited the country multiple times. 

The question on many minds is: Why would someone, who's repeatedly visited a country for work and seemingly built connections there, risk damaging those ties with derogatory comments? And who continues to provide such figures with platforms and opportunities despite repeated controversies?

There's a broader lesson here about the importance of cultural sensitivity, especially for global celebrities. A casual comment can quickly spiral into a major incident with far-reaching implications, said a commentator. 

In an age of instant information and constant connectivity, celebrities need to be more cautious than ever. And as audiences, perhaps we ought to think more critically about the figures we choose to support.