China bans stars with drug arrests from film, TV screens
Chinese audiences may not be seeing Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee Chan nor his pal Kai Ko in movie theaters or on TV in the near future. China’s media watchdog has apparently banned the actors’ works after they were busted by Beijing police on drug charges.
China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has issued an directive to TV broadcasters and film producers and distributors, prohibiting the presentation of works made by any actors and/or directors who have been arrested recently on drug-use or prostitution charges, Chinese media reported this week.
“Their actions not only broke the law, but also destroyed morality in the society,” the agency said in the directive. “As public figures, they damaged the image of the whole industry and caused very negative social impact, especially to the young children.”
The directive was sent directly to TV stations nationwide, as well as to film distribution groups, including China Film Group, last week on the eve of the one-week-long National Day holiday. The China Film Distribution and Exhibition Assn. released a copy of the directive on its website late Wednesday.
The ban on the actors’ and directors’ movies and TV shows is not limited to theaters and TV networks. Their works will also be prohibited from being streamed online, the directive stated. TV networks will not be allowed to invite them to their live entertainment programs as well. And commercials featuring the actors will be pulled from TV networks and the Internet. It was unclear how long the prohibition would be in effect.
Though Jaycee Chan’s acting career was already in limbo thanks to a string of flops, his actor pal from Taiwan, Kai Ko, will apparently be hit much harder; the 23-year-old actor has been one of the rising stars in China’s movie industry, thanks to the success of his movies including the chick-flick franchise “Tiny Times.”
Ko’s tearful confession and apology on Chinese TV following his arrest didn’t seem to help him avoid the ban. His latest romantic film, “A Choo” was originally scheduled to be released in China on Oct. 24. But the film’s distributor has postponed its release in the mainland at least until next year, Beijing-based movie website Mtime.com reported. The movie is to be released on Oct. 31 in Hong Kong and Taiwan as planned. A promotional event for his next movie, “Monster Hunt,” scheduled to be released early next year, was canceled in Shanghai this week.
On top of his movies, Ko may suffer more financial losses from endorsement deals, as advertisers apparently will be forced to stop airing all the commercials he has appeared in. Ko has endorsement deals with almost 20 brands, including Adidas, KFC, Maybelline and Nivea.
Many commentators on the Chinese social media website Weibo questioned the fairness of such a ban.
“What’s strange is that all those movies were not made by one actor. All the other actors and crew of the movie were all innocent,” a famous blogger who goes by the name Wuyue Sanren wrote in a post.
Loyal supporters of stars including Ko also voiced support for their idols online.
“Come on! Kai Ko! We’re all waiting for you,” wrote one of Ko’s fans in Hebei province on Weibo. “We’ll welcome you with our open arms when you return to us! We’ll continue to support you!”
Tommy Yang in the Times’ Beijing bureau contributed to this report.
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