Chinese TV Bans Stars Who Take Drugs or Visit Prostitutes

Jaycee Chan

Media watchdog orders broadcasters to blacklist actors caught up in drugs and vice crackdown

China’s media watchdog has banned "tainted" stars who have used drugs or visited prostitutes from TV and other media outlets, after a flurry of big names in the entertainment industry were nabbed in drug and vice busts in recent weeks.

Last month, Golden Bear-winning 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 in August.

"Celebrities who break the law should not be invited to appear in programs, and transmission of their works should be suspended," the powerful State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARPPFT) said in a statement.

The regulator said the ban was to keep the industry pure, as the recent spate of busts in the industry was a bad influence on children.

The ban follows an informal circular sent to TV companies, as reported in THR.

The Beijing government said celebrities who break the law should not be invited to appear on TV, and transmission of their works should be suspended. The ban also applies to online media, film and publishing.

There was no mention of for how long the ban would apply.

Other big names caught up recently in the crackdown include Huang Haibo and Ko Chen-tung. 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.

An article in China Daily showed that 7,800 people had been held on suspicion of taking drugs since the start of the year, and 1 percent of those detained were celebrities.

Twitter: @cliffordcoonan