Yes, you did read that title correctly. A four-year-old PR stunt by Capcom led people to believe that China was selling human meat. “What the fuck?,” I hear you asking. Read on to find out more…
To promote Resident Evil 6, Capcom’s marketing department organized a stunt where animal meat was modified to look like human remains. And that’s all it was… a very creative PR stunt. But now it’s resurfaced to bite Capcom in the ass, thanks to the Facebook post below. The original post is no longer accessible to the public, but as everything lasts forever on the internet, Gamereactor quickly snapped an image before it went offline:
So yeah, thanks to this woman, people started to think that meat coming out of China and being shipped to Africa was actually made from people, not animals, in the vein of Sweeney Todd, Motel Hell, and about a million other films of that ilk. Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m blaming this woman, despite the fact that it’s her fault, but let this serve as a warning to people to research the facts before making or sharing outlandish claims that could have consequences.
The post was spread more than 26,000 times and was even reported on in some South African news outlets, who also believed it to be true. One quick Google search would prove it to be false, but since when has journalism been about research and investigation?
The shit storm over the images got so bad that the Chinese government was forced to issue a statement to calm things down. Read it in full below:
LUSAKA, May 17 (Xinhua) — A top Chinese official on Tuesday dismissed reports in Zambian media that China has been selling human meat as food in Africa. Reports on social media and a local newspaper quoted an unnamed Zambian woman living in China warning people to stop buying Chinese corned beef. The woman claimed that Chinese beef companies were collecting dead human bodies, marinating them, packing them in tins labeled as corned beef and sending them to Africa.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming issued a statement expressing how unfortunate it was that people with ulterior motives were attempting to destroy the long-standing partnership between Zambia and China. “Today a local tabloid newspaper is openly spreading a rumor, claiming that the Chinese use human meat to make corned beef and sell it to Africa. This is completely a malicious slandering and vilification which is absolutely unacceptable to us,” he said in a statement. “We hereby express our utmost anger and the strongest condemnation over such an act,” he added.
The Chinese envoy has since asked relevant government departments in Zambia to investigate the tabloid and source of the rumor in order to clear the name of the Chinese people. Zambia’s Deputy Defense Minister Christopher Mulenga has since promised that the government will launch investigations into the reports.
“The government of Zambia regrets the incident in view of the warm relations that exist between Zambia and China. We shall make sure that relevant government authorities will take up the investigations and give a comprehensive statement,” he said.
So there you have it. No human meat. Now please come back to planet Earth. Reality can actually be a wonderful thing sometimes.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Resident Evil 6 was not the franchise’s finest, but goddamn, it didn’t deserve this level of humiliation although it can be viewed in another light. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “All publicity is good publicity,” and it seems like this will certainly renew interest in the series ahead of Capcom’s teased big announcement at E3 next month. Will we finally be getting Resident Evil 7? And if so, will it take the franchise back to its horror routes rather than trying to be a big, loud Michael Bay-style Hollywood blockbuster like RE6 unfortunately was? Guess we’ll find out when E3 rolls into San Francisco next month.