Netizens applaud Chinese authorities move to limit broadcast of programs featuring immoral entertainers
China’s National Radio and Television Administration published a draft regulation on Tuesday that includes an article limiting the broadcast of programs featuring entertainers who have committed illegal or immoral acts. The move has been applauded by Chinese netizens, who have lamented the frequency of recent scandals involving Chinese entertainers, such as Zheng Shuang’s surrogacy scandal.
“Concerning producers and performers on radio and TV programs who cause bad social influence by violate laws and regulations, related authorities can limit the broadcast of programs featuring these entertainers,” the 32nd article of the draft regulation says.
Many Chinese netizens noticed the article and expressed approval for it, saying that the draft regulation should be implemented as soon as possible. The related hashtag has earned more than 250 million views as of Wednesday afternoon on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
“I support the regulation very much. These entertainers who have committed illegal or immoral acts should not appear on the screen any more to avoid misleading young people. But the regulation should clearly define what acts it covers. Is cheating in a marriage included in the range of behavior that should be punished?” one Sina Weibo user commented.
Law experts also advocated for the implementation of the draft regulation.
Wu Xiaolin, a lawyer based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday that laws regulating artists are more important and necessary than ever as “the number of scandals among the entertainers has been increasing in recent years and, as celebrities, they are leading role models who shape the healthy values of younger generations.”
Chinese actress Zheng Shuang, who was recently involved in a surrogacy scandal, is seen as an example of an entertainer who should be blacklisted. In January, Zheng was accused by her ex-boyfriend of abandoning her two surrogate children in the US. The scandal quickly drew widespread condemnation in China.
The case also brought the legitimacy and morality of surrogacy – which is illegal in China – into the spotlight once again, with the majority of Chinese netizens voicing strong disapproval for it.
Many netizens have said that entertainers who have taken drugs should also be included, such as Kai Ko from the island of Taiwan and Jaycee Chan, son of Jackie Chan.
“Don’t forget actress Fan Bingbing, who was fined a large sum of money because of tax evasion,” another netizen wrote.
Zhang Qihuai, an attorney from the Beijing Lanpeng Law Firm, told the Global Times on Wednesday that different levels of punishment for artists who have acted immorally much be defined, as a one-size-fits-all approach would not be appropriate.
He suggested setting grade levels and disciplinary standards according to the degree of harm the artist’s misconduct caused society and establishing a review agency and personnel to handle cases and ensure impartiality.
“Similar to how judges use the Judge’s Performance Appraisal Method for assessments, the entertainment industry can also set up an ethical assessment committee for entertainers,” said Zhang.
He pointed that South Korea and Japan have long implemented strict measures for artists who have violated the law, and that these are worthy of study. He noted how South Korean singer-songwriter and actor Park Yoo-chun and Japanese singer and actress Noriko Sakai were both sentenced to probation, fined and dismissed from the entertainment industry for drug abuse.