Singapore's 'The Virus Vanguard' retreats after Liverpool fans slam Man Utd-loving superhero Mawa Man
The superhero, Mawa Man, was supposed to be a major Manchester United fan and his name was a dig at Liverpool's 'You'll Never Walk Alone' anthem
Singapore's fictional superheroes, 'The Virus Vanguard', have been asked to stand down after their introduction to the world saw them getting slammed on social media.
"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. As this is the first time we are exploring this content format, we appreciate your patience..." said a post on gov.sg, the official Facebook page of the Singapore government.
It also added: "If you have an idea or suggestion on the Virus Vanguard, do share with us." The post had only the silhouettes of the characters accompanying the update.
A report by The Straits Times said the five-member superhero team was done by gov.sg and a local artist community group Band of Doodlers. The characters were — Dr. Disinfector, Fake News Buster, Must Always Walk Alone (Mawa) Man, Circuit Breaker, and Care-leh Dee, who made its first appearances on the Gov.sg website and Facebook page on Sunday. However, they were taken down by Monday.
Much of the negative reactions came on Twitter and was directed towards one character in particular — Mawa Man. The superhero was supposed to be a major Manchester United fan and his name, MAWA (Must Always Walk Alone) Man, was a dig at Liverpool's "You'll Never Walk Alone" anthem. However, it looks like the joke was not taken in good humor.
"Wait, so he's fighting the virus which is the only thing standing between Liverpool and the Premiership?" asked a fan. "As a fan of Man U this is really and not going to go down well with Man U supporters or any other football team support as well : P," tweeted another. Mawa Man was described as a "fanatical Manchester United fan who grew up in the 80s when Liverpool kept winning titles and he was constantly taunted by his two Liverpool fan brothers."
One of the comments on Facebook read: "You'll Never Walk Alone had been sung by 183 Radio station across 30 countries at the same timing to show appreciation to the frontlines fighters fighting COVID-19. And your MAWA totally put that song to shame. Football rivalry aside. That song is so meaningful and the impact is given to the front lines across Europe." Another comment read: "This will angry the whole Liverpool city. Not only their fans."
"MAWA man my bawah lah. wat a joke of a character.. don't underestimate the unity and voice of Liverpool FC fans. Come, I clap for u too," read one more. According to the report, this wasn't the first superhero-themed campaign by the government. In February, the Ministry of Education brought in five superhero mascots that looked at encouraging children to practice good hygiene during this pandemic.