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msnbc.com
updated 4/27/2011 9:21:12 AM ET 2011-04-27T13:21:12

Police arrested a singer on racism charges after a man reportedly of Chinese descent complained about his performance of the song "Kung Fu Fighting," according to reports.

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Simon Ledger, 34, told Britain's The Sun newspaper that he and his band were performing the 1970s classic at the Driftwood Beach Bar on the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England.

"We were performing Kung Fu Fighting, as we do during all our sets," he told the newspaper. "People of all races were loving it. Chinese people have never been offended by it before."

But Ledger told The Sun an Asian man walking by with his mother hurled an expletive and made an obscene hand gesture at the performers during the Sunday afternoon performance, then took a photo with his cell phone.

"We hadn't even seen them when we started the song. He must have phoned the police," The Sun quoted him as saying.

The man claimed he was "subjected to racial abuse," police told BBC News, and complained to the police the same evening.

'I thought it was a joke'
Ledger told The Sun that police called him later that evening — while he was eating at a Chinese restaurant — to arrange a meeting. It was at that meeting that police arrested him, Ledger said.

The BBC report said police released Ledger after his arrest, intending to question him further at a later date.

"An investigation into this allegation is continuing to establish the full circumstances surrounding what happened," a Hampshire Constabulary spokesman told the network.

"I thought it was a joke but they were serious," Ledger told The Sun. "They seemed pretty amazed but said the law is the law and it was their duty. It's political correctness gone potty (a British term for crazy)."

The owner of the bar defended Ledger, telling the newspaper that he doesn't believe the song or the singer are racist, and that there "is no way he would abuse anyone."

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