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Chinese netizens call for lifetime ban on scandal-hit celebrities as Fan attempts comeback

By Zhang Xingjian Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/23 19:31:19

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing attends a promotional event in Taipei, March 28,2018. Photo:IC



Chinese netizens have called for scandal-hit celebrities to be blacklisted from the entertainment industry for life after A-list actress Fan Bingbing, who was fined 883 million yuan ($132 million) for tax evasion last year, has indicated that she may be attempting a comeback.

Fan participated in an anniversary celebration event for iQiyi, a video streaming services provider, on Monday in Beijing, her first public appearance since she apologized in October last year for her involvement in the tax scandal.

One of the biggest celebrity scandals in 2018, Fan's case shook China's film and TV industry, leading to a nationwide crackdown on tax avoidance schemes in the industry.  

The return of the 38-year-old actress sparked huge debate on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform. The vast majority of comments were scathing, with some netizens insisting she be sent to jail.

"She should retire from the entertainment industry instead of challenging the public's bottom line to make a comeback. Celebrities should keep a good public image and be self-disciplined off the stage," one Weibo user said.

"Fan was never subject to any criminal punishment for tax evasion, because she is a big star who can afford to pay the taxes and fines. However, her reappearance seems to remind other celebrities that as long as you have the fame and money, you can do whatever you want," another Weibo user said.

Fan had been cautiously testing waters this year.

In January, posters of her endorsed eyewear brand were widespread online. Then, the actress uploaded selfies with her family during the Spring Festival holidays. 

In March, she showed up at the opening of a luxurious beauty parlor she invested in, but ended up in a wave of criticism over what netizens said were the exorbitant prices the parlor charged. 

In April, US magazine Variety reported that Fan was returning to the screen in the film 355, and that the producers lost the support of Chinese film investors.

China's National Radio and Television Administration issued a notice in 2014 that TV stations and other media outlets should stop broadcasting materials featuring celebrities involved in drug abuse or prostitution.

Gao Changli, director of the administration's media office, reaffirmed the notice in a 2018 conference.
Newspaper headline: Chinese netizens call for lifetime ban on scandal-hit celebrities


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