Since December 2019, reported cases of a deadly novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been making headlines, having originated in Wuhan, Jubei in China. To date, 60,000 cases have been recorded, with the death toll rising to 1,300 in mainland China. While the virus has generated some international concern, Dutch DJ Lex Gaarthuis of Radio 10 in the Netherlands proceeded to create a satirical song about it, sparking outrage from Chinese nationals.
The song, whose title translates to "Prevention Is Better Than Chinese," was initially broadcast on Radio 10, and immediately denounced by the Chinese community and beyond. Its subject matter includes references to not eating Chinese food in order to avoid contracting coronavirus (though the disease is not necessarily transmitted that way), and plays on words that some deem offensive.
A petition was formed against Gaarthuis and his song, and more than 51,000 people have already signed it. Organizers of the campaign denounced the song, claiming the statements made within it are discriminatory and offensive. "We’re confronted daily with so-called ‘jokes’ and statements that are not acceptable,” they said.
An apology from Gaarthuis was issued on Saturday, as the DJ admitted that the creation and broadcast of the inflammatory song was "a big mistake" and that he realized that it was offensive and painful to the Chinese community. There is no word on whether Laat met Lex (translation: Late with Lex) will continue on with Gaarthuis on Radio 10.
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