With pro-democracy protesters and authorities locked in a weeks-old standoff in Hong Kong, the involvement of Kenny G turned out to be the last thing anybody needed. The jazz saxophonist—a huge star in China—appeared at a protest site in Hong Kong yesterday and tweeted a photo of himself giving the victory sign with pro-democracy demonstrators, only to backpedal frantically when the Chinese government signaled its displeasure, the Guardian reports. "Kenny G's musical works are widely popular in China, but China's position on the illegal Occupy Central activities in Hong Kong is very clear," the country's foreign ministry said. The jazzman quickly deleted the offending tweet.
In a Facebook post, he said he's not supporting the demonstrators, "was not trying to defy government orders," and doesn't "really know anything about the situation." Protesters saw the move as a "disappointing and cowardly" U-turn, reports CNN. "It comes across as if you are protecting your own capitalistic income and your own brand ... yet Hong Kong is fighting for its life," said one popular response to his post. Kenny G's 1989 sax ballad "Going Home" is played all over China when malls, schools, or train stations close, though protesters scoff at the notion they might disperse if he played it for them. "We didn't leave when the police used tear gas on us," a protester tells the New York Times. "Why would a single Kenny G tune shake our determination?"