'Maybe there was food on the patient's bed': Zhang Zetong responds to mean comments on 'bobbing pigeon head' CPR fiasco

PHOTO: Instagram/Channel 8, Instagram/Zhang Zetong

Poor Zhang Zetong.

The actor has become synonymous with bobblehead dolls and pigeons in recent days. 


In case you haven't seen the numerous memes spawned from a recent episode of Mediacorp's medical drama Healing Heroes, we're here to fill you in.

In the scene, Zetong's character, a newbie doctor, performs chest compressions on a patient (played by Xixi Lim) as she is wheeled into the ER.

While his shoulder and arm placement all seemed legit enough, what made viewers roll with laughter was how the only body part that was moving throughout the entire "CPR" process was Zetong's head.

Not gonna lie, Zetong's solemn head-bobbing movements as he stiffly straddled Xixi looked like they belonged more at a silent disco than in a hospital.

Many were curious how the scene came to pass. One Reddit thread dedicated to the hilarious sequence is titled "No wonder the patient died, RIP".

Asked another commenter: "Why is he bobbing his head like a pigeon?"

Zetong, 29, himself has got a reply to that. His retort? "Maybe there was food on the patient's bed." 

In a video posted to Channel 8's Instagram account yesterday (Sept 15), Zetong addressed the controversial 'pigeon-gate' — all with a healthy dose of humour.

He shared mirthfully in Chinese, "I'm really glad that I was able to make you happy, even for a minute."

Just like viral videos of US celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves, Zetong shared some choice comments — some mean, others more forgiving — from viewers.

Zetong also clarified that there was a medical professional helping with the direction on the set and he'd done prior research on YouTube on how to perform proper chest compressions (not that it helped).

Addressing a comment on how performing CPR in real life could actually fracture a person's rib cage, Zetong shared that co-star Xixi had actually told him "not to press too hard".

"So I tried to keep my arms straight and not use too much force."

But the dutiful actor noted that "next time, I won't bob my head so much".

In a particularly harsh comment read out loud by Zetong, a viewer said: "This is what happens when you try too hard to be nominated for the Best Actor award." Ouch.

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Choosing to side-step the remark, Zetong further explained that he was too engrossed in the scene to realise how comical he looked.

At the end of the video, Zetong also demonstrated the proper way to do CPR, first on a pillow, and then with his "volunteer", fellow actor Herman Keh.

"If you really press down, my heart might stop; it really hurts," shared Herman after the quick demo.

In comments to the clip, many gave Zetong credit for the self-deprecating manner in which he tackled criticisms thrown at him.

Zetong too, acknowledged that the scene was "really quite funny lah now that I look at it", in an Instagram Story shared on Sept 13.

He also poked fun at himself in an IG post the same day, where he showed off his new haircut.

"Gonna use a mushroom head to counter pigeon heads," he wrote.

Whether it's a case of making lemonade from lemons or milking the situation for what it's worth, it's good to see some celebrities have a sense of humour.

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