It was meant to be a creative campaign to raise awareness of social responsibility during the coronavirus crisis, but the Singapore government has been forced into a rethink after offending a group of Liverpool fans.
The government of the Asian city-state announced on Monday that it was “reviewing” its campaign featuring a band of Covid-19-battling superheroes dubbed the Virus Vanguard, after one of the fictional characters upset local Liverpool lovers.
“The Virus Vanguard is undergoing a review. We have received quite a lot of feedback on the characters and we will be reviewing them. We are sorry if we offended anyone,” the government said in a Facebook post, along with blacked-out images of the superheroes.
The hardy band was made up of five fictional Covid-19 combatants – Circuit Breaker, Fake News Buster, Dr Disinfector, Care-leh Dee and MAWA (Must Always Walk Alone) Man – each of whom had special powers to help remind Singaporeans of their responsibilities during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Singapore Government has created a team of superheroes to fight the Coronavirus/COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/H76e5thfq6
— Iron-winter 2 (@Ironwinter4) April 20, 2020
But it was MAWA Man who fell foul of local Liverpool fans due to his name and backstory.
The MAWA moniker was a distortion of the ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ anthem beloved by Reds’ fans, and the character’s backstory created by the government revealed that he “despise[s] everything Liverpool including their motto You’ll Never Walk Alone.
“His hatred for Liverpool so far exceeds his love for Man Utd that it manifested as a telekinesis power.”
MAWA Man’s outfit also featured the Liverpool crest with a red line through it to hammer his hatred home.
the campaign has been taken down due to backlash – a not insignificant amount from Liverpool fans mad at the social distancing hero “Must Always Walk Alone (MAWA) Man” pic.twitter.com/1P4vYjskMw
— 😿 (@rgtrgt) April 21, 2020
That proved too much to stomach for a local Liverpool fan club, who set up a petition signed by more than 800 people to get the character scrapped.
“‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is a song that was collectively used by most European radio stations as a show of solidarity amidst the Covid-19 lockdowns,” the upset fan group fumed. (RT)
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