Major Chinese video platforms including Tencent Video, iQiyi, and Youku have taken down the movies, TV dramas, and variety shows featuring pop star Kris Wu, who was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of rape.
The three video platforms announced their decisions to remove this content on Tuesday night. In separate posts on Weibo, the companies stated that they have “zero tolerance” for unethical artists who breach the law. The platforms also pledged that they will comply with the regulations and build a “positive” internet environment.
Hugely popular variety shows featuring Wu, including The Rap of China and the iQiyi-produced Fourtry, were among the shows that have been scrubbed. Videos where Wu is mentioned that still remain online typically contain commentary about his behavior toward women and young girls.
The National Radio and Television Administration said during a press conference held on Tuesday that around 1.9 million short videos and 7,000 films, dramas, and shows were taken offline, with further censorship underway.
The regulator also expressed support for these platforms, praising their actions that will curb obsessive fan culture and the highly addictive effects of China’s attention economy.
Other prominent internet platforms have also canceled the tarnished pop star. Baidu Baike, China’s alternative to Wikipedia, now labels Wu as a “Canadian male artist accused of rape.” Weibo has shut down Wu’s personal account.
Once a wildly popular star, Wu has been severely criticized after 19-year-old Du Meizhu publicly accused him of sexual assault on Weibo last month. Du said Wu’s support staff invited her to what was described as a music video’s casting call, but Wu sexually assaulted her after forcing her to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Du also alleged that she is not the only victim.
Chinese state media chastised Wu in a slew of articles and broadcast segments. Xinhua published a short article in which the author said Wu’s case is a wake-up call for all artists in the country, as the incident has negatively impacted Chinese society. “The entire entertainment industry must be thoroughly rectified,” the article read.
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