In what legal experts are calling the first class action of its kind, white American students at New York University Shanghai have filed suit against 1980s supergroup Wang Chung, alleging mental anguish from knowing that the band profited from “extreme cultural appropriation.”
“They’re white,” the lawsuit alleges. “And they sang that everybody should ‘wang chung tonight.’ Just knowing that this song exists makes our lives in Shanghai unbearable.”
Chinese students at the university are mystified by the lawsuit, pointing out that Wang Chung is a British band whose songs are a perennial favorite at karaoke bars across Shanghai.
“We’re college students,” said Lao Li, a Chinese national majoring in economics. “When we’re not studying, we just want to have fun tonight.”
The British new wave band formed in 1980, adopting the name Huang Chung, which means “yellow bell” and is the first note in the Chinese classical music scale. After fans kept calling them “Hung Chung” they changed their name in 1983 – to make it easier for English-speaking fans to pronounce.
Wang Chung had five Top 40 hits in the U.S. between 1983 and 1987 and currently plays in “reunion” tours around the world.