Canada Is Sorry for This Awful Wu-Tang Clan "Wu-Han" Shirt
In China, the group's iconic 'W' logo was mistaken for a bat
Published Feb 02, 2021While the city of Ottawa's take on Wu-Tang Clan's iconic "W" wasn't the worst variation we had ever seen on a T-shirt, Canada has now been forced to address an order of parody shirts with the words "Wu-Han" inside the iconic rap crew's logo following online backlash.
As the Globe and Mail reports, images of the "Wu-Han" shirt logo (seen above) began circulating on Chinese social media last month. Shared images included shots of a shipping sticker with Canadian Embassy's address in Beijing, with Canadian diplomat Chad Hensler as the intended recipient.
Perhaps unaware that "Wu-Tang Is Forever," viewers felt the "W" logo most resembled a bat, and took Canada to task online. The coronavirus pandemic is said to have spread from a wet market in the city of Wuhan, and while scientists have found bats to be a natural reservoir for the virus, the animal's link has often been at the centre of xenophobic, racist remarks concerning the pandemic.
The Globe cites a blog post concerning the photos which labels Canada "a 'shameless' Western country possessed of 'no bottom line, no morality and no sense of responsibility." The post's author writes, "I'd love to ask these nasty Canadian diplomats: Do you smoke too much pot or are you just perverts?"
On the country's Twitter-like platform Weibo, another commenter wrote, "If you dare to wear the bat shirt on Chinese soil, you will be sent to your God with an English longbow."
"We are very shocked by this and have lodged representations with Canada, asking for a thorough investigation and a clear explanation," Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said of the shirts at a daily briefing yesterday (February 1).
A Canadian Foreign Affairs official confirmed to the Globe that the T-shirts were ordered in May 2020 as personal gifts for the "Wu-Han Clan": a team of diplomats who had travelled to Wuhan in the pandemic's early stages to repatriate Canadian citizens. The official clarified that the shirts were purchased privately, and not reimbursed by the Canadian government.
"The T-shirt logo designed by a member of the Embassy shows a stylized W, and is not intended to represent a bat. It was created for the team of Embassy staff working on repatriation of Canadians from Wuhan in early 2020," a spokesperson for Canada's foreign service told Reuters by email early on Tuesday. "We regret the misunderstanding."
Unsurprisingly, Wu-Tang/Wu-Han shirts on which the "W" is shaped like a bat are available to purchase in stores and online. It remains unclear how images of the "Wu-Han Clan" shirts came to circulate on Chinese social media.
Wu-Tang Clan's "W" logo was created in 1993 by producer and DJ Mathematics, and remains an instantly recognizable piece of hip-hop iconography today.