Brooklyn Beckham, the eldest son of English soccer legend David Beckham, has sparked a furor among netizens from China for sharing Instagram photos which apparently ridiculed Chinese tourists in Italy.
The now-deleted post showed Chinese tourists in a gondola and one Asian person shopping at a local supermarket in Venice, with the caption “No place like Italy innit.”
According to the South China Morning Post, the image racked up over 100,000 likes including the ones from his two younger brothers before it was taken down.
Many social media users from China expressed their anger toward the image by leaving comments on his Instagram page.
Some netizens accused him of “racism” and “insulting China,” and demanded an apology for singling out Chinese or Asian-looking tourists in his post. There were those who even told him to “never come to China to fish for money again.”
The 19-year-old aspiring model was recently paid $131,000 to star in an advertisement for the Chinese smartphone label Huawei.
The hashtag #BrooklynInstagram even became a trending topic on Weibo, generating almost 4 million views as of this writing.
“Without his dad, who would recognize him? He really has no character,” one commenter wrote.
“Accurately speaking, it is discrimination against Asians. He’s not Italian himself but a tourist as well. Who’s better than the other?” shared another user.
Beckham’s Instagram account, which has 11.6 million followers, has since been made private following the backlash.
Instagram accounts of David Beckham and Victoria Beckham also became the target of angry netizens who went on to accuse them of bad parenting.
Many Twitter users also weighed in on the controversy:
Hey Brooklyn Beckham. Perhaps you can ask that lady first if you want to take a photo of her. Besides, don’t act like you never go to a Chinatown. Kid there are so many things you have to learn. Don’t make the judgment easily. Finally, don’t play with fire and don’t be a coward.
— 👾 (@ambersong1225) October 5, 2018
You are just a tourist, the same as people on your photo. So what makes you feel different,Your father or your smart brain?@brooklynbeckham
— songyi (@songyi99) October 5, 2018
Asians have deeply felt racism, you’re not Asian, you never understand.
— Chailyn (@Chailyn__) October 5, 2018
David Beckham has recently been making a number of multimillion-dollar endorsement deals in China, while his wife Victoria has also been appearing in advertising campaigns based in the country.
It has been a busy week for many Chinese tourists since China’s week-long national holiday started on October 1, with millions traveling abroad to take advantage of the long break.