Global brands including Prada and Remy Martin have cut ties with Chinese superstar Li Yifeng after the actor was detained for recruiting sex workers. Li becomes the latest in a line of artists to face recent legal troubles as the government cracks down on China’s entertainment industry and ramps up its efforts to curb what she calls “chaotic fan culture” and celebrity glut.
State media said Li, 35, had recently been detained by police in Beijing and charged with “multiple occasions of prostitution” and allegedly confessed.
Global and local brands, including luxury fashion house Prada, watchmaker Panerai and French cognac maker Remy Martin, issued statements on Sunday saying they had dropped Li as their brand ambassador following the scandal.
The actor, who played revolutionary leader Mao Zedong in a 2021 biopic to mark the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party, is hugely popular, with more than 60 million followers on the Chinese Twitter-like platform Weibo.
Last month he was on the catwalk in Beijing to present Prada’s fall 2022 collection.
A spate of scandals in recent months has brought down China’s biggest entertainers, including singer Kris Wu, who was arrested last August on suspicion of rape.
Actress Zheng Shuang was fined $46 million last year for tax evasion.
Last September, officials ordered broadcasters to shun performers with “incorrect political views” and cultivate a patriotic atmosphere.
“We solemnly call on the large number of TV artists to consider morality and art their homework,” the China Television Artists Association said in a statement Monday.
“It doesn’t matter what feats you have done…if you don’t keep yourself clean…the so-called fame will disappear and the so-called future will be ruined,” it warned.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)