Jeweller faces boycott after PR exec mocks women sexually assaulted at Occupy Central

Joanna Kot's now-deleted LinkedIn page

Joanna Kot’s now-deleted LinkedIn page

A public relations executive for a large jewellery store chain in Hong Kong prompted an angry response in social media after she posted a comment on Facebook that mocked the women who were victims of sexual assault at the Occupy Central protests over the weekend.

Joanna Kot, deputy public relations chief at Chow Tai Fook, which is the world’s largest jewellery chain, also drew fire for belittling protesters who were attacked by anti-Occupy Central mobs in Mong Kok, suggesting that they were being hypocritical.

She wrote: “Assaulted? It’s late by a few days already! You all saw it! If there’s a problem, you [protesters] want the police, if there’s no problem you say they are bad guys. If you’re all that, then leave by yourself. Citizens of Mong Kok are only repaying you in the same way.”

And about young female students who had been molested, she commented: “Molested? Remember not to report to the police; revolution requires sacrifice, fighting for democracy is above the law.”

“Those anti-Occupiers are ‘peacefully’ molesting you. You should be understanding! LOL!” she wrote, according to SCMP.

After a backlash, she deleted both her Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, and has resigned from the firm.

Chow Tai Fook's statement on Facebook

Chow Tai Fook’s statement on Facebook

Her employer has issued a statement on its Facebook page to distance itself from Kot’s comments. The company wrote:

It is with much regret that the words posted by one of our staff members on her personal Facebook account have aroused discontent among members of the public.

We hereby clarify that any individual staff’s personal words and opinions have no relation with the company and do not represent the company’s stand. Your attention and understanding are much appreciated.

However, a number of people have taken to Chow Tai Fook’s Facebook page to demand that Kot is fired and have said that they will boycott the brand. The company’s statement has prompted more than 2,200 comments since it was posted on Saturday night.


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