The Chainsmokers are trying to put out a fire they sparked online.
Over the weekend, the musical duo, which consists of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart, was in Shanghai to perform in the electronic music festival, Ultra China. On Monday, the band posted a promotional video from their trip to Twitter, Buzzfeed News reports. In the video, which has since been deleted, they made what’s been perceived as a joke about people eating dogs in China.
The band has responded to the controversy with a statement on Twitter that appears to be by Pall:
“We would never intentionally do anything to upset our fans and we apologize if it offended anyone,” the statement reads.
In the captioned clip, which Buzzfeed News screengrabbed, an interviewer asks Pall if he brings his dog with him on tour. Pall responds by saying that he tries, but she’s badly behaved, otherwise he would bring her anywhere if he could.
Pall then says:
“Well I don’t know if I’d bring her to China.”
Pall appears to laugh, and it looks like Taggart finds the statement humorous as well. The interviewer, who is Asian, responds with his hand over his mouth.
Though the video wasn’t on Twitter for long, it received a massive amount of backlash:
Some users defended the band, pointing to the Lychee and Dog Meat festival (commonly referred to as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival) in China’s Guangxi region The festival, which involves the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat, has sparked protests in and out of China.
According to a 2016 poll, most people in China feel that the Yulin Dog Meat Festival has “harmed China’s reputation,” reports Xinhua, a Chinese state news agency. The poll also showed that almost 70 percent of Chinese people claim to have never eaten dog meat, while nearly 52 percent want the dog meat trade completely banned.
So, even if Pall didn’t intend to offend any fans in China, most likely, he did.