In the wake of a sweeping regulatory crackdown on tainted entertainers, the popular Chinese pop star and fashion icon, Cai Xukun, has been noticeably wiped off from a recently-aired variety show, ‘Keep Running’, following allegations linked to a sex scandal.
This strategic move was apparent when astute social media users spotted an unexplained absence during the latest episode. In several scenes, cast members appeared to be engaging with an invisible entity, according to a report by Asia One.
Cai, aged 24, faced removal due to mounting accusations that suggested his coercion of a woman into terminating her pregnancy. A statement or clarification from the show’s producer remains awaited.
These actions bear testimony to Beijing’s escalating efforts to crack down on celebrities believed to be tarnished by scandals. A paradigm shift was seen in September 2021, when the Chinese Association of Performing Arts (CAPA) declared its commitment to fight against irrational online posts and the problem of scandal-marred entertainers.
Moreover, CAPA pledged not to collaborate with entertainers who were scandal-ridden, such as Zheng Shuang – penalized for tax evasion, and pop star Kris Wu – apprehended for rape. The association expressed a clear intention to champion artistes of sound morals.
Echoing this stringent stance against scandal-tainted celebrities, renowned actress Vicki Zhao saw her name expunged from video streaming sites and major TV series credits as Beijing intensified its campaign against celebrity culture. This censorship extended to Weibo, where a forum dedicated to the actress was abruptly shut down.
In a related incident, Zhao and her spouse Huang You Long were prohibited from trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2021, following a failed 2016 takeover bid of a company that was deemed to have “disrupted market order.”