bakers band

Behold The Gentle Men.

Romance isn't dead, it’s just working for Baker McKenzie in a Pikachu hat.

A video has emerged showing the firm's musical male staff in Vietnam serenading their female colleagues to mark Vietnamese Women’s Day, an annual event which provides an opportunity for men to "thank and show love and appreciation for the women in their lives".

The footage dates from 2020, but was only recently uploaded to YouTube.

Their latest creation begins with an email being typed to everyone in the firm's Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi offices, which reads, "Dear Ladies of BM Vietnam Office, Please find attached a music video showing our appreciation for your contribution to the firm and its people". 

The sign off starts as, "Regards, The Men", but it is then deleted and amended to "The 'Gentle' Men", which should set alarm bells ringing.

It is not the Hanoi office's first brush with genius - its staff produced the pandemic’s definitive Covid safety video.

gentle men

The Bakers band then appears and gets stuck into their chosen number: Miss You Like Crazy by The Moffats.

Lyrics such as, "You are all that I want/You are all that I need/Can't you see how I feel/Can't you see that my pain's so real", and, "Girl I'm so down when your love's not around/I miss you, miss you, miss you/I miss you like crazy", speak to the heartache the B&M fellas have endured since Covid separated them from the ladies.

Despite the good intentions behind the effort, RollOnFriday advises UK lawyers against taking a similar approach, however much they long for the company of their co-workers.

In the MeToo era, a man singing to his female colleague, "I used to call you the love/The love that I never had/When I think of you/I don't know what to do", is an artistic choice which carries a significant risk of HR unplugging the amp and bundling the singer down an open lift shaft. That goes double for Bakers, which was shaken to its core when it emerged that management had covered up the inappropriate conduct of one of their leaders, possibly after he'd listened one too many times to Miss You Like Crazy.

A defensive Baker McKenzie spokesperson said, "Vietnamese Women's Day is based around the idea of presenting either gifts or gestures of appreciation and respect to women in Vietnam. With this performance, our colleagues in Vietnam tried to overcome social distancing restrictions and come together to celebrate a virtual Vietnamese Women's Day in a creative and respectful way, and to show their gratitude and continued support for their female colleagues via song".

"Therefore, it would be unfortunate to see this effort taken out of context, without fully understanding Vietnamese Women's Day from a local and cultural perspective", they added.

The Gentle Men will have been underwhelmed by Baker McKenzie’s official video marking International Women's Day, which showcased women describing their professional achievements, goals and obstacles, and contained not a single rendition of Since U Been Gone.

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TopDaawg 10 December 21 09:28

Big fan of this. Makes BM seem more human - they should embrace it.

It is sad that the Woke brigade make people feel nervous about this.

Roman Keating 10 December 21 09:28

So bakers PR is saying that men treating female colleagues as romantic objects is a ‘gesture of respect’?

Plus ca change…

Dear BM 10 December 21 09:30

There are cultural differences in the way women are treated in different regions of the world. Some have further to go in terms of achieving equality.  Why not admit that, instead of trying to gaslight us into thinking singing love songs to women at work is appropriate?

Anonymous 10 December 21 09:55

Classic cultural imperialism - none of you have any idea how this was intended or perceived in Vietnam, but you're all pearl-clutching over the thought that supposedly unenlightened people in a faraway land might be behaving in a way that would upset a lonely Equality Studies grad at a former polytechnic in the Home Counties.

Moral relativist 10 December 21 10:07

Interesting how big the divergence is - you’d be out on your arse if you sung love songs to women in a UK office, but in Vietnam everyone loves it. 

Anon 10 December 21 10:20

Anyone who considers this ‘problematic’ clearly doesn’t have real problems in their life.  

Westermarck 10 December 21 10:57

‘people don’t understand the context’

Indeed. The context is that Vietnam is a deeply sexist culture:

This video is a fairly harmless example, but the firm’s justification exemplifies a bigger issue.

Their defence boils down to, ‘what’s unacceptable here is lovely there’.

That’s because it is in global firms’ interests to encourage moral relativism. Otherwise they might have to justify their ongoing involvement in China despite the Muslim genocide and repression in HK and Taiwan, in UAE despite the repression, homophobia and human slavery, in Russia despite the human rights violations, etc, etc, - and potentially withdraw from profitable markets. and they’d miss them like crazy

Minority 10 December 21 11:05

@Westermarck - what makes you think you (a westerner, with western values) hold an objective moral position? 

Anonymous 10 December 21 11:07

Always a mistake to apply western (and minority western) gender views on other cultures.

Westermarck 10 December 21 11:09

I don’t.

I do, however, think moral relativism is a crock and the refuge of scoundrels. 

Anonymous 10 December 21 11:12

@Westermarck - the Empire is over mate. 

You no longer have the entitlement or obligation to stride into foreign lands and to start telling the natives what is and isn't on. 

They don't need you to 'civilise' them anymore.



If anyone is looking over at the US and UK and thinking "Yes, that looks like a healthy social discourse of the kind that we should emulate here, I would like a little bit of that thankyouverymuch" then they're welcome to imitate as much or as little of it as they like. 

But they don't need you to 'save' them from themselves.

Minority 10 December 21 11:19

@Westermark - Why? Because you can't fathom other people with different backgrounds having different moral views to you?

Westermarck 10 December 21 11:24

If it makes you more comfortable to call me an imperialist for objecting to atrocities in China, Russia and the UAE (and for suggesting sexism is sexism wherever it occurs), have at it. 

Westermark 10 December 21 11:27

Minority, I absolutely can, and I also believe I can be wrong. Which, ironically, may be the difference between us. 

Anonymous 10 December 21 11:32

Westermarck 10 December 21 10:57: Vietnam is a deeply sexist culture

Westermark 10 December 21 11:27: I also believe I can be wrong

So are you wrong or right? Pick a fucking lane dude

Westermarck 10 December 21 11:38

‘If anyone is looking over at the US and UK and thinking "Yes, that looks like a healthy social discourse of the kind that we should emulate here, I would like a little bit of that thankyouverymuch" then they're welcome to imitate as much or as little of it as they like.’

I’m afraid that many people in the countries you’re referring to are unable, because of either poverty or censorship, to access the western discourse you so despise.

Loathe though I am to puncture your bubble, I must also inform you that even if they were able to access our national conversations, they would not in fact be ‘welcome to imitate’ them, because, in relation to a significant number of topics, doing do would result in them bring beaten up, imprisoned by the state, or worse.

Anonymous 10 December 21 11:45

You're conflating governments with people. Also no idea how this relates to a song sung by Vietnamese blokes.

Maybe get off the high horse and come join us back on earth?

Westermarck 10 December 21 11:45

‘So are you wrong or right? Pick a f-ing lane dude’

Anonymous, I think you hit the nail on the head: you are angered by complexity. 

When I declare, ‘I think this position is correct but I can be wrong’, to you it becomes an oxymoron, perhaps because you are scared of, or not prepared to acknowledge, nuance.

It is a real problem, in my experience, of ideologues across the political spectrum. 

old timer 10 December 21 14:53


It may be that it's Friday afternoon, and Christmas vibes are in full swing, but it had me in tears. Especially when the guitar kicks in with the key change.

I think it's very thoughtful and lovely that they have put so much effort into showing their appreciation of the fairer sex.

Tuka 10 December 21 15:56

What a surprise, the Baizuo think every country should follow their wokeist standards and cannot fathom the idea that there are other perspectives and cultures different to theirs.

Mike Takowski 13 December 21 07:49

Hi there, I'm Mikey - You can believe me or not, I was the one with the Pikachu hat who mixed/recorded the little "controversial" video.

I cannot speak for B&M worldwide, but it is disgusting that you would twist my work into a sexist statement. Just so you know, in the Vietnam office, almost all of the associates and partners are female. By the way, I studied in the UK for 6 years. 

Anonymous 13 December 21 10:56

Hi Mike - why have you deleted it? The rof story and most of the feedback has been positive.

Anonymous 13 December 21 20:18

See you rip these guys for making something so sweet and appreciative of women, but truth be told I (a chilly Western careerist) would a 1000 times rather have this from men than the simmering misogyny that one regularly comes across in the UK. Tonight getting home I was called an ugly bitch. Nice. I feel so appreciated. 

Anonymous 13 December 21 20:24

Considering that we in the UK are in the process of erasing women completely (police in Scotland will soon be recording male rapists as women, if that’s how they choose to identify - I mean, they can then go to a women’s prison if convicted and have access to all those vulnerable women and girls - what could possibly go wrong?!) I really don’t think we are in any position to judge any other country on the way it expresses its love and appreciation of women. 

Anonymous 14 December 21 10:58

13th @ 20.18 - simmering misogyny and simmering misandry, manifestations of gender division, have caused some people to have warped views.

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