Cape Town - South Africans are furious with Jason Derulo after the American singer asked South Africans at ANN7's South African of the Year Awards if they can speak English.
Jason Derulo embarrassed Infinity Media's ANN7 and the South African of the Year organisers at the awards show, which took place on Saturday night for a second year, and which the TV news channel billed as "the most prestigious awards show in the country".
Another American star, Christina Aguilera, was also set to perform at the awards show but also caused embarrassment and a dramatic change to the event which changed from a concert to an "invitation only" closed event after pulling out a month ago citing sudden diary conflicts.
The backlash on Saturday began after Derulo, who was supposed to be the main draw at the event, asked "Y'all speak English, right?"
Unimpressed South Africans quickly took to social media on Saturday night, calling him ignorant and blasting him for his music and daft remark.
In a country with as much talent as South Africa, it is a proper insult to subject the nation to this Jason Derulo person.— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) October 17, 2015
So Jason Derulo asked us if we speak English?Lmao! Thats what we get when we leave our own talent & chase internationals. Andinayo ne-worry!— nwabisa (@NwabsWell) October 18, 2015
Jason Derulo isn't even a big star but comes here to disrespect us? Toni Braxton/Babyface were here & they didn't talk nonsense. Who is he?— Flo (@florenceletoaba) October 17, 2015
Jason Derulo, at the South African of the Year Awards, asked the audience if they speak English. @BarackObama, please come fetch him.— Tats Nkonzo (@TatsNkonzo) October 17, 2015
Wait, Jason Derulo asked WHAAAT??? LMAOOO pic.twitter.com/7tb9fNOxJj— Perseus (@iampercy_n) October 18, 2015
Derulo eventually responded on Twitter, saying that his "speaking English" remark "was directed to a specific table" at the ANN7 South African of the Year Awards because he was frustrated that people at the award show weren't responding to him.
"Speaking English" remark I made, was directed to a specific table. It wasn't literal, just a figure of speech when someone isn't responding— Jason Derulo (@jasonderulo) October 17, 2015