Former Singaporean artiste Sharon Au, who is based in Paris, France, has shared about a racist encounter, saying that it was her "first experience with such blatant intolerance".
The 44-year-old wrote on Instagram on Friday (March 27) that she was in her courtyard when an elderly French man told her to "stand far away from him".
Even after Au complied and retreated a metre away, he still complained that she was not standing far enough.
"Go back to China," the man said, according to Au. He told her that the virus "came from you people" and insisted that "you are all the same" even when she told him that she was from Singapore and not China.
Even then, Au said that she does not blame the man.
"It is scary indeed," she said. She told reporters that she is not angry because people over the age of 70 make up more than half of the deaths caused by Covid-19 in France. "So I understand his fear," she told Lianhe Zaobao.
Friends and fans left encouraging comments on her Instagram post. "Hugs!" commented Malaysian actress Apple Hong.
When asked what she would do if she encounters something similar in the future, Au replied: "I will do the same as I did this time. I will say 'au revoir' (goodbye), and just walk away."
Former Mediacorp host and actress Au left Singaporean station Mediacorp in 2018 to work as an investment director in a private equity firm based in Paris, France in October the same year. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
An old French man about 70 years old just angrily told me to stand far away from him, so I retreated a metre away, and he complained not far away enough and that I was badly brought up, “the disease came from you people. “ “ Go back to China” “ I’m not from China I’m from Singapore ” “It’s the same you are all the same”. My first experience with such blatant intolerance. As I walked away, I see fear in his eyes. Of the unknown, of death, of Covid-19. I don’t really blame him. It is scary indeed. He should have worn a mask. I thought a lot about this matter. This is not a park. It is my own courtyard.