Celeb sex and drug offenders banned from Chinese showbiz, Kai Ko films in peril, say reports

Kai Ko, who was kept in detention in Beijing for two weeks in August for marijuana use, appears in Monster Hunt and Tiny Times 4.0, upcoming Chinese movies which now face an uncertain future. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Kai Ko, who was kept in detention in Beijing for two weeks in August for marijuana use, appears in Monster Hunt and Tiny Times 4.0, upcoming Chinese movies which now face an uncertain future. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Beijing - Celebrities who have used drugs or visited prostitutes have now been banned from show business in China, say reports.

Movies, television shows, commercials, Internet dramas and other works involving entertainers implicated in sex and drug offences cannot be shown in China for the time being, said unnamed industry sources quoted in a report on NetEase website today.

Also, celebrity offenders cannot be invited to radio and TV shows, and broadcasters cannot use the stars' offences as publicity gimmicks, said the report.

The ban will almost certainly affect celebrities including Hong Kong actor Jaycee Chan, Taiwanese actor Kai Ko, Chinese singer Li Daimo, Chinese actor Huang Haibo and Chinese film-maker Wang Quanan, said NetEase and China Times.

Chan, Ko and Li are among the stars recently arrested for drug offences. Huang and Wang have been detained for hiring prostitutes.

Ko, who was kept in detention in Beijing for two weeks in August for marijuana use, appears in Monster Hunt and Tiny Times 4.0, upcoming Chinese movies which now face an uncertain future.

A press conference scheduled for Monster Hunt in Shanghai today was cancelled at the last minute, said NetEase.

Ko's agent Angie Chai told China Times: "We just heard the news. Tiny Times 4.0 is not distributed by us. The distributors also have not contacted us. We'll respect their decision."

In mid-September, television networks confirmed that censors had verbally informed them to "consider carefully" TV dramas by directors, screenwriters and actors who have been implicated in "misdeeds", said NetEase.

Yesterday, after the weeklong National Day holiday, industry sources said the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television had issued a formal notice of the ban on Sept 29.

The notice did not mention matters of private morality, however, and the careers of stars such as Chinese actor Wen Zhang, who admitted an extramarital affair, may be safe for now.