"I don’t know of any Asian person who wasn’t called a “bat eater”"

Fashion influencer Bryanboy has called out a Stockholm restaurant for its “racist” Coronavirus posters.

In a post on Instagram, the Filipino blogger posted an image of himself with his friend and art director Declan Chan at Restaurant Riche.

The pair are seen sitting in front of posters showing a yellow Xi Jinping with bat horns. “Bat-Man” is written underneath it.

“It wasn’t until we placed our order that we noticed all the huge posters on the wall — an illustrated portrait of a very yellow Xi Jinping with bat ears and the term “BAT MAN” by Swedish artist @ironartworks,” Bryanboy wrote on Instagram.

“Ever since COVID happened, many Asians around the world have gone through so much racist abuse – for instance, on social platforms, I don’t know of any Asian person who wasn’t called a “bat eater”,” he added.

“Now imagine being the only Asian (I’m Filipino, my friend is HK Chinese) customers inside the restaurant, it was packed and everyone was white (they had 2 Asian staff – but they’re Swedish) and then every single wall in there had posters of “Bat Man”.”

“It was just so awkward and quite frankly, I was so embarrassed and mortified I took my Chinese friend there… we ate in silence and we left as soon as we were done. The racism was so distressing!”

Restaurant Riche admitted to the BBC that customers found the exhibition “disturbing and racist, which was of course not the intention”, adding that it “sincerely apologise[s] to anyone that was offended”.

Iron Art Works issued a statement on Instagram, stating, “Tonight my “BAT MAN” blew up for beeing racist against Asian people. My intention was never for it to be. Thou racism and hate IS a part of our time and that is included in the symbolism. I cant stretch enough how much i apologise for the people who got their feelings hurt by it.”

“My intention of the “BAT MAN” was the same, represented by the dictator Xi Jinping and CCP’s handling of the virus outbreak.”

He also told the BBC,  “I would not have done it in the first place If I did not stand behind it. I still do. I don’t want to hurt people of course, that is not my intention at all.”

Bryanboy, whose real name is Bryan Yambao, said the artist’s response was a “non-apology”.

“It comes from a place of ignorance – that he wasn’t expecting it to be racist or considered racist… I’m all for freedom of expression by artists, but I just wish that he knew what the repercussions of his work are,” he said.

In other news, a US Marine is being investigated after posting a video of himself threatening to kill Asians.

 

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THAT WAS AWKWARD. There’s this restaurant @RestaurantRiche in Stockholm that I’ve been going to for over a decade. I haven’t been there in a while and my friend @DeclanChan, who is visiting me for a few weeks, is craving for Swedish meat balls so we went there this afternoon. It wasn’t until we placed our order that we noticed all the huge posters on the wall — an illustrated portrait of a very yellow Xi Jinping with bat ears and the term “BAT MAN” by Swedish artist @ironartworks. Ever since COVID happened, many Asians around the world have gone through so much racist abuse – for instance, on social platforms, I don’t know of any Asian person who wasn’t called a “bat eater”. Now imagine being the only Asian (I’m Filipino, my friend is HK Chinese) customers inside the restaurant, it was packed and everyone was white (they had 2 Asian staff – but they’re Swedish) and then every single wall in there had posters of “Bat Man”. It was just so awkward and quite frankly, I was so embarrassed and mortified I took my Chinese friend there… we ate in silence and we left as soon as we were done. The racism was so distressing! Am I being a Karen? I hate the idea of being a Karen but it was just absolutely surreal. I was in shock. More pics on my stories.

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View this post on Instagram

 

Tonight my “BAT MAN” blew up for beeing racist against Asian people. My intention was never for it to be. Thou racism and hate IS a part of our time and that is included in the symbolism. I cant stretch enough how much i apologise for the people who got their feelings hurt by it. I have been working with hardcore satire portraits alot and making a fool of people in power (swipe ex HATE and PUTAN). My intention of the “BAT MAN” was the same, represented by the dictator Xi Jinping and CCP’s handling of the virus outbreak. But i now, thanks to you teatching me, realised that it hit all wrong… So I repeat, my intention was only to make a fool of Xi/CCP, NOT to make a racist comment that hurt a lot of people, but i accedentally did, and I again apologise to you who feel that way. So for that sake i will take down the posts of it, but im keeping this one, to contribute too the open discussion and so you get your voices herd. That was my intention all along.

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