HONG KONG—When Hong Kong’s chief executive accused “external forces” of instigating pro-democracy protests that have paralyzed the city for the last month, he probably wasn’t referring to the smooth jazz stylings of Kenny G. Yet the soprano saxophonist—whose real name is Kenneth Bruce Gorelick—appeared at the main protest site of the Umbrella Movement in Admiralty today.
The musician hasn’t yet made any public statements in support of the protesters—aside from tweeting, “I wish everyone a peaceful and positive conclusion to this situation”—and he may be wise not to. Kenny G, who just finished a tour in China, is wildly popular and ubiquitous in mainland China: his mellow hit “Going Home” is played across the country at closing time to urge patrons at restaurants, shopping centers, and parks to leave the premises.
Mr. G’s appearance just happened to coincide with mainland officials issuing a blacklist of 47 celebrities who support the Hong Kong protests, instructing Chinese state media not to report on their activities. While all of those celebrities are from Hong Kong or Taiwan, Kenny G could be next. Already on the Chinese microblog Weibo, his jaunt through the protest site in Hong Kong is receiving some negative attention. One blogger wrote (registration required), “How much did they have to pay to get him to come?”