Beijing’s adorable Olympic panda mascot Bing Dwen Dwen finally revealed its voice on an interview aired by CCTV, and many fans are heartbroken.
The round panda, wearing an icy, astronaut-like suit, was designed to embody the idea of “embracing new technologies for a future with infinite possibilities.”
Bing Dwen Dwen has taken Beijing by storm, with much of its merchandise selling out quickly resulting in requests for production boosts to satisfy fans, reported CNN.
Many fans are now complaining, however, on Weibo about the mascot’s deep voice as revealed in its interview, with many calling it “disgusting” and others agreeing that they were taken aback.
According to CNN, one user said, “I have been hurt… when I opened [the online shopping platform] Taobao and wanted to buy a Bing Dwen Dwen key ring, I would think of the voice of a middle-aged man.”
Another user who complained about the panda’s baritone voice, said, “I don’t want to hear the ‘uncle’ voice of the Bing Dwen Dwen. It’s just a little cute panda.”
Many fans have also pointed out that Olympics mascots are not supposed to talk in order to maintain gender neutrality, per the International Olympic Committee guidelines. The Beijing Olympic Committee had reportedly signed a contract with the IOC stating that Bing Dwen Dwen was prohibited from talking, according to the Chinese state-run Procuratorate Daily via CNN.