American-Taiwanese actress apologizes for liking Instagram post calling Chinese tourists 'a-la̍k-á'

American-Taiwanese actress Tiffany Ann Hsu apologizes for liking Instagram post describing Chinese tourists as 'a-la̍k-á'

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(Photos from Hsu's Weibo account)

(Photos from Hsu's Weibo account)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- American-Taiwanese actress Tiffany Ann Hsu (許瑋甯) found herself having to apologize to Chinese netizens on Thursday (April 11) after they caught her liking an Instagram post that mocked Chinese tourists with the Taiwanese epithet "a-la̍k-á" (阿六仔).

On Tuesday (April 9), a Taiwanese tourist uploaded a photo of the Japanese village of Oshino Hakkai on Instagram and wrote that when they visited the site, it was crowded with "a-la̍k-á," a derogatory Taiwanese dialect slang term used to describe Chinese tourists. The post read, "A-la̍k-á are swarming in this place. At this time we suddenly burst into patriotism. We are from Taiwan, Taiwan."

The 34-year-old actress liked the post, and by Wednesday (April 10), despite the fact that the platform is blocked in China, Chinese netizens saw the post and recognized the ID @anno807, which they knew to be her personal Instagram account. Enraged Chinese netizens then called for a boycott of her work.


Screenshot of original Instagram post.

At around 2 a.m. on Thursday, Hsu took to the Chinese social media website Weibo to say that her "like" on Instagram was "a stupid mistake" and that she had done so "out of habit" without paying attention to the text. She also announced that she would be shutting down her Instagram account, but Chinese netizens were still not satisfied.

By 1 p.m. on Thursday, "China Movie Report" (中國電影報導), a Chinese TV program that posts entertainment news, posted on Weibo a handwritten letter by Hsu apologizing in more detail for the offending "like."

In the letter, Hsu wrote, "I stayed awake all night, feeling sorry and regretful." In addition to apologizing, Hsu said that people could criticize her and scold her "because I did something wrong."


Hsu's apology posted on Weibo.

Hsu said that her mother is from Wuhu City in China's Anhui Province and her father is an Italian-American. "No matter where I was as a child, I was considered a foreigner," wrote Hsu.

Apparently distancing herself from her American father and associating herself more closely with the Chinese side of her family, she wrote, "I am a member of the Hsu family [maternal surname]. I am my mother's daughter, my maternal grandparents' granddaughter, and my brother and sister's older sister."

Hsu then dutifully regurgitated the Communist Chinese Party's standard propaganda about there being only "one China" and distanced herself from independence for Taiwan:

"There is only one China in the world, and I do not support Taiwan independence. I hate divisions. I like everyone living in harmony."


Hsu. (Weibo photo)


Hsu. (Weibo photo)


Hsu. (Weibo photo)