YouTube pianist Brendan Kavanagh has come under attack from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its supporters after a recent video where he performed in a British shopping center.
In the video, Kavanagh is performing on the piano in public which is part of his usual YouTube content. In the background, an entourage of Chinese tourists waving CCP flags can be seen. When they notice Kavanagh’s cameraman they approach, with one man who’s presumed to be a “handler” appearing to initiate a conflict with Kavanagh.
The alleged handler then begins to assert that Kavanagh is infringing on the “right to their image”. After being laughed off by Kavanagh and his associates, a policewoman arrives on scene responding to an accusation made against Kavanagh that he was being racist by pointing out that they’re in Britain, and Chinese laws don’t apply to him when he’s in a British shopping center.
You can find Brendan Kavanagh’s encounters with both the CCP entourage and the British policewoman below:
Shortly after his encounters, the stream went viral and Kavanagh has received an outpouring of support from fans and supporters. In a follow-up video, Kavanagh shares an email he received from a Taiwanese supporter who expressed concern that Kavanagh will likely be cyberattacked by CCP agents.
“Your computer will be hacked, your phone will be hacked, and I suspect YouTube will be hit with a deluge of copyright strikes.”
The email goes on to explain the strategies the handler and entourage used, as well as shared speculation that at least one of the women may be related to a high-ranking CCP official and may not want to be filmed as she quickly steps out of view once she realized how close she was to the camera.
Kavanagh confirmed that he’s received communication from YouTube support and encourages supporters to download and share the video of his encounter in case it “disappears”.