China has blacklisted 88 celebrities for violating its moral standards

  • China has released the names of 88 celebrities on the country’s blacklist.
  • The list included Kris Wu, a former K-Pop star who was arrested in July on rape charges.
  • The China Association of Performing Arts said the list prevented “unethical performers” from re-entering the industry.

China has released a list of 88 celebrities it has blacklisted for “illegal and unethical” behavior.

In a message released on Nov. 23, the China Association of Performing Arts announced it would ban 88 entertainers for alleging they violated the country’s moral standards. This is the ninth such list issued by the association, which first blacklisted celebrities for alleged bad behavior in 2018.

The blacklist specifically prohibits these 88 people from accessing or appearing on live streaming platforms, a popular means for entertainers in China to access a wide audience.

The China Association of Performing Arts said in its post that the goal was to “strengthen “self-discipline” in the entertainment industry and prevent “illegal and unethical performers from moving to other platforms to start their careers over.”

“All online audio and video platforms and companies are prohibited from providing these individuals with any form of online live broadcasting services,” the association’s message reads.

The list includes Kris Wu, a former K-pop star who was arrested in Beijing in July on rape charges. Wu, a former member of the South Korean boy band EXO, has not been heard from since.

Also on the list are two entertainers who had huge fans in China before their respective scandals broke out. One of them is Zheng Shuang, an actress who caused a social media storm after she was accused of tax evasion and leaving her surrogate children behind in the US.

Another star that was blacklisted was Zhang Zhehan, an actor and singer whose social media accounts were deleted after photos of him visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan went viral. Visits to the shrine, which is dedicated to the Japanese war victims, is seen in China as a confirmation of Japanese war crimes.

According to the digital culture publication Jing Daily, Guo Laoshi, an influencer on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, was cited for posting videos of herself rejecting conventional ideas about Chinese femininity. Guo regularly filmed herself doing things like smelling her own feet or wearing unflattering makeup.

This is the second major barrier being imposed on the Chinese entertainment industry this week. Insider’s Hannah Towey reported that China is barring celebrities from extravagant demonstrations of wealth on social media, arguing that pop stars should adhere to the country’s “core socialist values.”

These new bans come after an earlier crackdown in July when the Chinese government curbed the behavior of Chinese fandoms to prevent protracted online fan wars between influencers and pop stars.

In September, China also ordered broadcasters to ban “sissy men” who they say were too effeminate to appear on TV.

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