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Nick Cummins faces backlash for fronting a Hong Kong tourism campaign

Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins is accused of being ‘a mouthpiece for a brutal communist government’ by starring in a Hong Kong tourism advert

Former Wallaby-turned-reality star Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins has been criticised for starring in a new ad campaign promoting tourism in Hong Kong, as the city falters under the brutal reign of China’s communist dictatorship.

The 35-year-old, who was Australia’s Bachelor in 2018, features in a three-part video series that sees him explore Hong Kong’s best tourist attractions, enjoy local food and party with locals in a post-pandemic era.

‘Hong Kong is one of my all-time favourite cities in the world. The people, the culture, the hustle, the bustle – you just can’t beat it,’ Cummins, who regularly plays for the Hong Kong Sevens, said in a statement.

Former Wallaby-turned-reality star Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins has been criticised for starring in a new ad campaign promoting tourism in Hong Kong, as the city falters under the brutal reign of China’s communist dictatorship. (Cummins is pictured in the campaign)

‘From the restaurants and nightlife, to getting outdoors and exploring, there really is something for everyone. I can’t wait for Aussies to explore Hong Kong like I have.’

Karen Macmillan, the director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board in Australia and New Zealand, said: ‘The video series shows the incredible variety of experiences you can do in Hong Kong and really captures its distinctly East-meets-West vibe.

While the campaign hopes to encourage Australians to visit Hong Kong as Covid-19 restrictions ease, critics say the videos don’t reflect the reality of life in the city.

While the campaign hopes to encourage Australians to visit Hong Kong as Covid-19 restrictions ease, critics say the videos don't reflect the reality of life in the city

While the campaign hopes to encourage Australians to visit Hong Kong as Covid-19 restrictions ease, critics say the videos don’t reflect the reality of life in the city 

Human rights have deteriorated rapidly in Hong Kong in recent years, including extreme restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and the press.

This has stoked pro-democracy protests and international criticism.

In 2020, Beijing imposed a national security law that gave it broad powers to punish dissenters of the regime.

Human rights have deteriorated rapidly in Hong Kong in recent years, including extreme restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and the press. (Pictured: protesters marching in the streets of Hong Kong on July 1, 2020)

Human rights have deteriorated rapidly in Hong Kong in recent years, including extreme restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and the press. (Pictured: protesters marching in the streets of Hong Kong on July 1, 2020) 

Jane Poon, a member of the Australia-Hong Kong Link, criticised Cummins for his involvement in the campaign, telling The Sydney Morning Herald: ‘The people of the city are actually struggling because of what the government is doing.

‘By taking these [tourism ambassadorship] jobs, celebrities are endorsing a government that is condemned by the international community.’

Former Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker Ted Hui, who was exiled during the city’s crackdown on dissenters, also said he was ‘disappoint[ed] to see anyone being a part of Beijing’s or the Hong Kong regime’s propaganda’.

Mr Hui, who is an outspoken critic of the communist regime, did note, however, that Cummins likely had good intentions when he agreed to front the campaign.

Cummins’ Hong Kong tourism campaign runs from October 5 to November 28.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Cummins’ representative for comment. 

In 2020, Beijing imposed a national security law that gave it broad powers to punish dissenters of the regime. (Pictured: protesters marching in the streets of Hong Kong on May 10, 2020)

In 2020, Beijing imposed a national security law that gave it broad powers to punish dissenters of the regime. (Pictured: protesters marching in the streets of Hong Kong on May 10, 2020)

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