Justin Bieber’s rise to stardom is in large part thanks to YouTube. In the Philippines, however, Instagram may prove to be his downfall.
A resolution was filed in the country’s congress last month declaring Bieber a “persona non grata,” barring him from entering the country unless he offers a public apology for taking a few jabs at boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on Instagram, a photo-sharing social network program.
The Filipino icon was knocked out in a recent bout, and images spread across the Internet of him lying motionless on the canvas. Bieber posted a photo of the unconscious boxer with a superimposed picture of Simba from The Lion King, with the words “Dad wake up.” A second Instagram posting juxtaposed the picture with Michael Jackson doing his dance move. The caption reads: “Pacquiao doing the lean with MJ. Classic moment.”
Bieber’s boxing allegiances are firmly rooted in the corner of American Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr., who is the pound-for-pound king of boxing and Pacquiao’s rival.
“It doesn’t matter if it is someone as big as Justin Bieber making degrading or insulting comments about a Filipino citizen. Banning him will show how seriously we take our national pride,” said Representative Carol Jayne Lopez. She encouraged Filipino youth to stop listening to Bieber’s music. There was the Twitter hashtag “#banjustinbieber.”
Bieber responded on Instagram: “If they were beliebers I know they wouldn’t leave my side over [a] boxing opinion.”