“Protect Jackson Wang” Trends As Netizens Debate The Meaning Of GOT7 Jackson Wang’s Recent Speech

The speech is being interpreted in two entirely different ways.

GOT7‘s Jackson Wang is currently on his first solo world tour, the 2022-2023 Magic Man World Tour.

Jackson Wang | @JacksonWang852/Twitter

The talented idol has continually gone viral for his insane levels of fan service that range from bringing fans up to the stage with him…

To asking for a fan’s number so he could create a unique post-concert moment.

Throughout his tour, Jackson has continually shown off his tremendous artistic vision and immense talents, making every concert memorable.

| @JacksonWang852/Twitter

But while Jackson has mostly been going viral for positive reasons, netizens are having mixed reactions to a speech he made at the London concert.

| @JacksonWang852/Twitter

The video of Jackson’s speech is almost eight minutes long, but as the internet tends to focus on more digestible, short clips, only parts of the speech went viral. Many netizens argue that the reason Jackson is receiving backlash for his comments is that these short clips were taken out of context, distorting Jackson’s intentions.

In the almost eight-minute video, Jackson introduces himself as “Jackson Wang from China” and addresses “media propaganda” that portrays China negatively. The idol explains that the concert “is [his] story,” which conveys everything he’s been through as an artist and “an entertainer.”

I want to introduce to my London people. I want to introduce you to the London people. I love you so much. I care about you. This is Jackson Wang from China.

I don’t give a f*ck about everything else. This is my home, this is my home country.  Listen, listen. There is so much f*cking media talking about bullsh*t, it’s not like China. Media, f*cking media, propaganda bullsh*t. If you travel to China one time, you’ll feel like, ‘Damn, this is a dope place.‘ I guarantee.

— Jackson Wang

| @TeamWangIntlFan/Twitter 

I don’t know that game they’re trying to play. I don’t f*cking know. Hey, I’m just an artist, I’m an entertainer. I’m a citizen, I’m a person. I don’t know that sh*t, I don’t give a f*ck. I just want to say that there is a lot of filter about all these media things. That’s why you guys gotta be careful about me this time. You get me?

We’re living on Earth, everyone, we welcome. I just wanna say today my show I present to you, this is my story. This is my story. Listen, this is my story today. This is my story, I went through so much sh*t, but it’s okay. It’s industry, it’s like industry sh*t. It’s a society sh*t. It’s like I gotta grow up. We all gotta be mature. I understand that, but sometimes, yo listen, I’m Jackson, I’m Magic Man, but I’m an entertainer. What can I do? What can I do? Today, two hours and a half, three hours entertaining you guys, that’s it.

— Jackson Wang

| @TeamWangIntlFan/Twitter 

I’m sick of a lot of times when they hype up celebrities, hype up like artists too much. Yo, what do we do? We sing, we dance, we do music, that’s it. Maybe I’m not good enough, but at the same time, I just feel like this industry, yo, I just feel like this industry, we dance, we entertain so that you guys can have a smile when you’re going through some bad sh*t day. You can have a smile and entertained. You get what I mean? You get what I mean?

Cause I feel like, yo five years, ten years, I could disappear. I don’t give a f*ck, but at least when I have this time today in London, I wanna show you guys, hey yo, entertain, be entertained. Have a good moment for three hours, enjoy your best moment here, but what’s after that? You guys gonna go home, you know, on your ride home, in some way, you’re gonna feel empty.

— Jackson Wang

| @TeamWangIntlFan/Twitter 

But I wanna tell you that it’s not, hey, it’s okay. I’m an entertainer, try to give you guys positive energy. Whatever you guys doing in a lot of different industry right here, there’s like nurse, there’s like lawyers, there’s like ‘Hey, I work for McDonald’s. It’s cool, f*cking cool dude, I work for McDonald’s.‘ You get me? Yo dude, I need a McDonald’s every day like breakfast, I f*ck with that egg muffin sh*t, right?

Yo, every day, we respect our career and our f*cking occupation, we respect that, right? And I just want you guys, it’s not about, that’s why I say a lot of times, oh we hyped up the celebrity. ‘Oh, he’s blah blah blah.’ Hey, at the end of the day, he only dances and sings, nothing else. You get me?

— Jackson Wang

| @TeamWangIntlFan/Twitter 

I love, I love dancing and singing, that’s it. I perform, I entertain everybody, cool. Two hours later, hey, we gonna hit the club, we gonna hit the lounge. You get me? This is the mistake, everyone’s trying to hype up motherf*cking artists, hype up celebrities, that’s wrong. That’s f*cking wrong.

I get tonight you guys are here. Maybe you know me, you get introduced from a friend. It’s okay, you’re here. I want you guys to be entertained. Right? I want you guys to be entertained. When you go home, you have one thought, ‘Oh, what about my life? What about what I wanna do?‘ Everyone’s standard of happiness is different. You get me? You feel me, right?

I’m f*cking serious right now. Look, everyone’s happiness. ‘Hey, today, you know what? I’m gonna get married, have a kid and a family,’ that’s happiness. Another one, ‘I wanna be a businessman. I wanna get rich, I wanna, like, let’s do this.’ That’s another standard. Another one, another one. There’s so many different standards. But I feel like you gotta find your own. Because every one of you, first floor, second floor, every one of you is f*cking special. You get me? You get what I mean?

— Jackson Wang

| @TeamWangIntlFan/Twitter 

Hey, there’s so much social media bullsh*t. Like, ‘Hey, oh, this is good looking, this is bad looking. This is healthy, this is not bullsh*t.’ As long as you keep it to yourself, you know what you’re doing. You are self-protected, and you know your standards. This is what team Wang is all about.

Team Wang, we might be a small group, but every time you f*cking say it, know yourself. Hey, your standard is different from everybody else. Be you. I’m f*cking serious.

— Jackson Wang

| @TeamWangIntlFan/Twitter 

Hey, we don’t need to go to like some dinner or f*cking bullsh*t, like ‘Oh, hey, what do you do?‘ ‘I’m a this, I’m a that.’ F*ck you, man. I don’t give a f*ck. At least I’m more happy than you are. You make billions. You make ten million, twenty million; I don’t give a f*ck. You get me?

You gotta be happy in your own standard. You gotta find your own standard. This is what I’m talking about. Find your magic.

Thank you, London, this is Jackson Wang, Magic Man. This is Jackson Wang from China.

— Jackson Wang

| @TeamWangIntlFan/Twitter 

Although the majority of Jackon’s speech centered around the idea of “[finding] your own standard,” the beginning of his speech went viral for his comments.

Many netizens were outraged by what he said, understanding his comments to mean that he was dismissing reports of innocent Uyghur Muslims locked up in concentration camps in China as simply Western propaganda against China.

Some netizens interpreted his words this way because of Jackson’s previous decision to cut his partnership with Adidas. When the global fashion brand halted the use of Xinjiang cotton after reports of forced labor and discrimination of minorities in Xinjiang, Jackson “[ceased] all work with the brand.”

| TEAMWANG嘉尔工作室/ Weibo

From today on, this studio (agency) and Mr Jackson Wang will cease all work with the brand Adidas Originals. The country’s interests are above everything else, and the studio and Mr. Jackson Wang are strictly against all malicious acts that defame and slander China.

— Jackson Wang’s official Weibo account statement

Jackson’s canceled partnership over what the statement dubbed “malicious acts that defame and slander China” has led some netizens to believe that he is reacting similarly to the news reporting on these concentration camps in Xinjiang.

The Chinese government has reportedly arbitrarily detained more than a million Muslims in reeducation camps since 2017. Most of the people who have been detained are Uyghur, a predominantly Turkic-speaking ethnic group primarily in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. Beyond the detentions, Uyghurs in the region have been subjected to intense surveillance, forced labor, and involuntary sterilizations, among other rights abuses.

The United States and several other foreign governments have described China’s actions in Xinjiang as genocide, while the UN human rights office said that the violations could constitute crimes against humanity. Chinese officials have said that they have not infringed on Uyghurs’ rights and claimed that they closed the reeducation camps in 2019. However, international journalists and researchers have documented an ongoing system of mass detention throughout the region using satellite images, individual testimonies, and leaked Chinese government documents.

Council on Foreign Relations

Thus these netizens are voicing outrage at Jackson’s comments, believing he is dismissing what the United Nations said “could constitute crimes against humanity” as simply media propaganda.

“Workers walk along the fence of a likely detention center for Muslims in Xinjiang on September 4, 2018.” | Thomas Peter/Reuters via Council on Foreign Relations

But while there’s no denying the severity of the reported “genocide,” other netizens are coming to Jackson’s defense, explaining that he was not referencing Xinjiang. Instead, these netizens believe Jackson was commenting on the increase in hate crimes against Asians in the United States and the United Kingdom after the COVID-19 pandemic began.

These netizens believe that Jackson is speaking out against these hate crimes, which Jabez Lam (from Hackney Chinese Community Services) told BBCexploded since the beginning of the virus.”

They argue that as Jackson was one of many Chinese celebrities to cancel sponsorships with companies refusing to use Xinjiang cotton, making similar statements on Weibo, it speaks to the Chinese government’s attempts to control the social media site and their celebrities.

But, undoubtedly, in mainland China, where political and social stability has always been considered as the supreme interest of the CPC (Communist Party of China) and the Chinese government, Weibo can never become an absolutely special zone for free speech. In fact, any individual or media undermining or threatening this stability will definitely be punished, although they could probably enjoy limited and temporary freedom under specific circumstances. That’s why since early 2013, the Chinese government has adopted a sequence of measures, including internal censorship and various public crackdowns, to manage Weibo.

Runfeng He‘s “How does the Chinese government manage social media? The case of Weibo” Reuters Institute Fellow’s Paper

These netizens are trending #Protect Jackson Wang as they believe his words are misconstrued, creating a false narrative of what the idol actually stands for.

They are pointing out that the rest of Jackson’s speech focused on self-love and acceptance and actually critiqued the way society tends to glorify celebrities, calling himself out for just being “an artist,” “an entertainer,” “a citizen,” and “a person.

As of now, netizens remain divided on the intention of Jackson’s words, and the idol has not released any official statements about his speech. His 2022-2023 Magic Man World Tour concerts will continue in North America.

You can listen to Jackson’s full speech here.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations, Runfeng He (Reuters Institute Fellow's Paper) and @JacksonsMomo/Twitter

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