"I made a comment in an interview about being hesitant to bring my dog, Cheddar, to China, because I have read reports about dogs being slaughtered in certain provinces," the statement reads. "We originally posted a video to share how much we love China and our fans there. We would never intentionally do anything to upset our fans, and we apologize if we offended anyone. Anyone who wants to help prevent the slaughter of dogs, please visit http://www.stopyulinforever.org/."
This story was originally published at 11:20 a.m. on September 11, 2017.
The Chainsmokers are in hot water for making what Twitter users perceived as a culturally insensitive joke during an interview — and sharing it on their own Twitter account.
The duo is currently touring in Asia; over the weekend, they performed at music festival Ultra China. During an interview to promote the festival, though, Alex Pall reportedly made an insensitive joke about Chinese culture. BuzzFeed reports that the video interview has been taken down, but the outlet took screenshots of The Chainsmokers' tweet about it.
It's not clear what outlet the interviewer is from, since he's not identified in the screenshots BuzzFeed shared. In the closed-captions from the screengrabs, though, you can see the interviewer ask Pall whether he gets to bring his dog along on tour. Pall said he doesn't often get to, because his dog is "really ill-behaved" — and then said "Well, I don't know if I'd bring her to China," before laughing. The interviewer is clearly shocked, placing his hand over his mouth in surprise.
Twitter users have interpreted Pall's statement as being a reference to traditions surrounding the Lychee and Dog Meat festival (commonly referred to as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival) in China's Guangxi province.
Pall's critics have called his remarks "racist toward Asians" for seeming to insinuate that a tourist's pet dog would be stolen and eaten. Nevertheless, the festival doesn't represent the traditions or eating habits of the entire country. And it's very unlikely his dog would have been taken and used as food. As one BuzzFeed commenter pointed out, some Americans have pet pigs, and no one is stealing them to make pulled pork. It might have seemed like a funny comment to Pall at the time, but it came off as insensitive toward many members of The Chainsmokers' audience.
A rep for The Chainsmokers didn't immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment. We will update this story if and when we obtain a response.
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