China bans scandal hit stars

Sat, May 16, 2009

China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has issued a warning to Chinese media not to publicise celebrities who are "scandalous", "offensive" or have criminal records.

According to a Lianhe Wanbao report, the directive could be triggered by Hong Kong actress Gillian Chung's TV interview about the Edison Chen nude photo scandal in March this year.

An article posted on SARFT's website on May 6 says that programmes attempting to attract audiences by re-visiting the sex scandal cause "psychological damage" to the persons involved, and is "unhealthy" for the public.

There has been no official word on which celebrities are considered "scandalous" or "offensive", but sources from the media industry say there is an unofficial blacklist.

Who is on the list?

Besides the obvious suspects like Edison Chen, Gillian Ching and Cecilia Chung, Chinese actresses Fan Bing Bing, Tang Wei, Vicky Zhao and Alyssa Chia are apparently also persona non grata.

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Photos: AFP, Reuters, SPH

It is well known that Tang Wei stepped on the toes of Chinese authorities with her politically controversial and sexually explicit role as the lover of a traitor in Lee Ang's "Lust, Caution". Her appearance at the Hong Kong Film Awards was even edited from the Chinese broadcast of the event.

Fan Bing Bing, another up and coming Chinese actress, has also been censured for explicit scenes in a 2007 film Lost in Beijing, in which she stars with Hong Kong actor Tony Leong Kar Wai. The movie went through five rounds of editing before it was allowed to be screened in China.

But a month after its release, it was abruptly pulled and authorities asked the stars in the movie to "undergo strict re-education and deep reflection".

Vicky Zhao has yet to incur the wrath of the censorship board but triggered widespread public ire when she posed in a Japanese flag for a magazine photo shoot in 2001.

Taiwanese actress Alyssa Chia has been embroiled in scandal since her much publicised split with husband Charles Sun. He allegedly took their four-year-old daughter away after they argued and hinted that she was having an affair.

Victor Huang, who was seen holding hands with Taiwanese singer and host Annie Yi (estranged wife of Harlem Yu) last year could also be on the list, as his interview with a Hunan television channel was cancelled at the last minute.

Former actress Liu Xiaoqing is allegedly on the list after she was charged for tax evasion.

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