Either that or this was sarcasm on an unheard-of scale.

On 26 February, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare issued a message to all organizations and events in Japan, asking them to deeply consider the risks of not cancelling activities in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreaks.

Many heeded the call, leading to school closures and the indefinite suspension of a number of large-scale events and concerts. Naturally, cancellations on such a huge scale have caused a lot of buzz online, including this tweet by Japanese TV personality and producer Dave Spector.

“When lip syncing, spit doesn’t fly out of the mouth, so do those concerts need to be cancelled too?”

It seemed like a pretty innocuous throwaway joke that you’d normally find on Twitter, but strangely Spector began getting a flood of replies to the effect of the following.

“That’s rude to Perfume!”

Considering Spector never mentioned any artist by name and on that same day a number of other famous musicians had cancelled shows such as Exile, Kenshi Yonezu, Masaharu Fukuyama, Ayumi Hamasaki, and Uverworld, that tweet might seem like a sarcastic dig at Perfume by the poster.

▼ Pop music is full of lip-sync accusations, but Perfume doesn’t seem especially guilty of it

However, it was only one of many, many offended tweets. The following comments all either reference Perfume or were made with people using handles including words such as “perfume” and “prfm” suggesting that these are, in fact, genuine fans of the techno-pop trio.

“Dave, please come to a [Perfume] show once. I think you will regret what you said.”
“In a concert everyone is shouting and moving about. Many artists cancelled their shows and your glib remarks are very rude to fans who were looking forward to them. If you are a TV commentator please take responsibility for your remarks.”
“Dave, I didn’t know you were that kind of person. Sad.”
“I don’t know which artist you’re talking about, but don’t you think they have a good reason to lip sync? Please delete this tweet immediately.”
“Seriously Dave, apologize to the staff and fans.”
“Stop badmouthing Perfume!”
“Totally not funny.”
“Sorry not funny. Fans of all artists have been shocked that shows by their favorite artists were canceled. Choose your words more carefully next time.”
“Did someone hijack your account? That’s low.”

In these people’s defense, the Perfume cancellation was especially last-minute and left many fans standing outside the Tokyo Dome with nowhere to go. That certainly sucks, and makes their particular sensitivity to any concert-cancellation jokes understandable.

But taking Spector’s tweet and its replies at face value, it looks an awful lot like Perfume fans are being far ruder to Perfume than Spector ever was by assuming that they are the lip syncing artists he was referring to. At least that was the general impression online.

“Saying ‘You’re being rude to Perfume’ was the rudest possible thing to say about Perfume.”
“I don’t think the guy was talking about Perfume specifically.”
“I thought he was talking about AKB48.”
“So they are admitting that Perfume lip syncs?”

There was also a segment of netizens who, even while realizing the comment wasn’t directed at Perfume, either still felt it was an inappropriate joke or didn’t realize it was a joke and pointed out that the risk of transmission was actually between fans not from the artists themselves.

All in all, it was a really surprisingly incendiary tweet by the famous ex-pat with 1.7 million followers, but he appears to be taking it all in stride and is still out there happily tweeting topical quips.

“Everyone’s busy with the coronavirus, so celebrities can have extra-marital affairs now!”

DAMN YOU, SPECTOR! How dare you make jokes about my wife like that! I demand you delete this tweet, you monster.

Source: Twitter/@dave_spector, Real Live, Hamu Soku
Top image: SoraNews24
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