China Bars Stars With "Bad" Moral Records From TV

China Dragons Illustration - P 2014
Illustration by: Lars Leetaru

China Dragons Illustration - P 2014

Media watchdog orders broadcasters to ax stars in drugs and vice crackdown

China’s media watchdog has warned TV stations not to air shows featuring stars “with bad records” after a fistful of big names in the entertainment industry were nabbed in drug and vice busts in recent weeks.

Earlier this week, Golden Bear-winning Chinese director Wang Quan’an was arrested for "paying for sex," while Jaycee Chan, son of veteran Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan, was busted smoking marijuana at a foot massage parlor in Beijing last month.

The all-powerful State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARPPFT) made the warning in an informal circular to TV companies. A formal announcement of a ban is expected soon, local media reported.

The ruling is expected to cover TV dramas, movies and entertainment shows. However, TV stations were already pulling shows featuring stars who have fallen foul of the moral crusade in the entertainment industry.

Since Chan’s arrest and several other high-profile celebrity arrests, many leading film and TV companies pledged not to hire stars involved in prostitution, gambling or drug abuse for their projects. So the official ruling from SARPPFT may just put an official stamp on what has become a norm.

An illustration to the news story outlining the SARPPFT ruling featured some of the big names caught up in the crackdown, including Wang, Huang Haibo and Ko Chen-tung.

Earlier this month, Guo Jingming, creator of the highly successful Tiny Times franchise, said he may cut Ko Chen-tung out of the next installment after he was caught with Chan.

President Xi Jinping has ordered a nationwide crackdown on corruption, which is seen as a possible threat to single-party rule by the Communist Party.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan