KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Chinese social media platforms have deleted social media accounts of Chinese actor Zhang Zhehan just days after photos showing him posing at Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine went viral.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China had commented yesterday that no Chinese people should be “ignorant” of the history of the War of Resistance against Japanese aggression (1931-1945), especially public figures.
It also pointed out that the threshold for “artists” looking to enter the entertainment industry must be raised.
Chinese music platform NetEase Cloud Music and QQ Music removed Zhang’s songs on Sunday night.
Chinese streaming site Youku have deleted Zhang’s name from the cast list of his TV drama Word of Honour.
Video-sharing platform Douyin announced it had cleared Zhang’s account as his behaviour was considered harmful and had a negative impact on society, especially youths.
The blacking out of the actor’s accounts on all social media platforms came after China Association of Performing Arts (CAPA) urged the industry to ban Zhang.
CAPA said it was a basic professional ethic for actors to understand history when engaging in cultural activities and that ignorance should not be an excuse.
Yasukuni Shrine, according to the association, is the spiritual tool and symbol of Japanese militarism in launching its war of aggression and a place where right-wing Japanese forces deny history and beautify the war.
After an assessment by the ethics committee of the CAPA, it said Zhang’s highly improper behaviour not only harms national emotion but also brings bad influence on teenagers who follow him.
The association reprimanded Zhang and urged a boycott of him in the performing industry in accordance with provisions of “notice for the self-discipline of performers in the performance industry.”
Despite Zhang making an apology online, it did not stop the boycott and termination of his business partnerships.
Sponsors that endorsed and contracted him had terminated cooperation with him, such as beverage company Wahaha, and Jewel brand Pandora, and fabrics brand Shanghai Mercury Home Textile.
Yasukuni Shrine honours some of Japan’s worst war criminals.
Zhang is the second artist to be blacklisted by Chinese social media after hip-hop star Kris Wu, who is being investigated for rape.
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