In recent years, Hong Konger Jackson Wang (王嘉爾) successfully shifted his focus to the mainland Chinese market after making his debut in South Korea with the boy group GOT7. One week ago, he returned to his roots by uploading a cover of a Cantonese song. While his vocals garnered praises from mainlanders, other netizens expressed their disapproval for two reasons.
When the singer’s rendition of Jacky Cheung‘s (張學友) Cantonese classic, “You and Me on the Road” <分手总要在雨> uploaded onto YouTube, netizens noticed he inaccurately titled the song <一路上有你> and labeled it as the “Cantonese version.” Since <一路上有你> is Jacky’s Mandarin version of “You and Me on the Road” and released one year after the Cantonese original, Jackson received criticism for disrespecting the Canto-pop King by not using the Cantonese title.
Jackson Faked a Foreign Accent
In addition to the mistake, the native Hong Konger sang in Cantonese with an “impure” accent. Netizens laughed and said his accent resembles that of the foreigners attempting to sing in Cantonese in the song-guessing segment of the Super Trio <獎門人> variety series. Yet, he did not have such an unnatural accent when he returned to Hong Kong last year to attend Sammi Cheng‘s (鄭秀文) concert as a guest. He was also accent-free when he participated in Carol Cheng‘s (鄭裕玲) variety show Do Did Eat <Do姐有問題> and her radio show When I Was Young I Listen to the Radio <口水多過浪花>.
On top of the accent, Jackson also had a lot of lazy pronunciations. Netizens expressed, “He sounds normal when speaking in Cantonese, but how come he sings so weird in Cantonese? He should not be singing like this if his mother tongue is Cantonese” and “It sounds like people from other provinces singing in Cantonese.”
Ditching His Hong Kong Identity
It is not the first time he received backlash regarding his identity as a Hong Kong native. When he initially debuted in South Korea, Jackson often flaunted his Hong Kong pride by identifying himself as a “Hong Konger.” He also brought up multiple times that he was once on the Hong Kong national fencing team. However, after he began developing his career in mainland China, he started calling himself “Chinese.”
Also, he previously wrote Chinese characters in simplified form, which is more common in mainland China than in Hong Kong. When someone asked why he didn’t write the characters in traditional form, Jackson replied, “It’s written this way, as far as I know.” His response inevitably caused a rift among mainland Chinese and Hong Kong fans.
Jackson’s Chinese patriotism has just been growing stronger ever since he turned his focus to the mainland Chinese market. Last summer, he expressed that he is a flag bearer on Weibo, in response to Hong Kong protesters chucking the Chinese flag into the sea, which led Hong Kongers to call him a betrayer. He even once shouted, “China,” during a live broadcast and called himself a “China man” at a concert. However, netizens attacked him for using that phrase, as it contains racist implications. They said he should call himself “Chinese” instead of “China man.”
Jackson’s Cover of “You and Me on the Road”:
This article is written by MelodyC for JayneStars.com.