This British Pianist Who Was Confronted By A Chinese Filming Crew While Live-Streaming A Public Performance Has Caused A Huge Controversy

When asked by the Chinese crew to blur them out, Brendan Kavanagh argued that he has the right to film in public, adding that they are in a “free country” and not “communist China”.

This British pianist who was confronted by a Chinese filming crew while live-streaming a public piano performance has caused a huge controversy.

In a video that has gained more than 10 million views on YouTube and dubbed “Pianogate”, 56-year-old Brendan Kavanagh was live-streaming a piano performance at St. Pancras International station in London on Jan. 19 while a group of Chinese people are seen in the background.

British Pianist  Kavanagh Chinese TV crew

A woman from the group, later identified as Mengying Liu, then comes up to Kavanagh and asked him if they had appeared in his video.

The group said that they are a Chinese TV crew and asked Kavanagh to blur or delete them from the video as they wanted to protect their image rights.

Kavanagh then argued that he has the right to film in public, adding that they are in a “free country” and not “communist China”.

The situation further escalated when Kavanagh tried to touch a Chinese flag one of the women was holding, causing her male colleague to shout at Kavanagh to not touch her.

The crew ended up calling the police, who removed Kavanagh since he didn’t have permission to film in public for “commercial purposes”.

The video sparked a massive controversy online, with some supporting Kavanagh and agreeing that the Chinese crew should follow UK rules in London.

British pianist chinese crew controversy

Liu, meanwhile, said in a video later that her request to have her image deleted was misrepresented as her trying to impose Chinese portrait rights on the British.

Under the law in China, people have control over their image rights and material cannot be released without their approval, but this is not the case in the UK, according to Business Insider.

Others, meanwhile, noted that Kavanagh had acted in a racist manner towards the crew and jumped on anti-China sentiment just to gain popularity and exposure.

A week after the incident, he returned to the same spot holding a Winnie the Pooh doll – which has been censored in China after people said it resembled Chinese president Xi Jinping – voicing his support for Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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