Global brands including Prada and Remy Martin have severed ties with Chinese superstar Li Yifeng after the actor was detained for soliciting sex workers. Lee recently became the latest in a line of artists to find themselves in legal trouble, as the government cracks down on China’s entertainment industry, which has stepped up efforts to rein in a “chaotic fan culture” and celebrity excesses. goes.
State media said Li, 35, was recently detained by police in Beijing on charges of “soliciting prostitution on several occasions” 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 left Lee as their brand ambassador following the scandal.
The actor, who plays revolutionary leader Mao Zedong in the 2021 biopic to mark the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party, is hugely popular with more than 60 million followers on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo.
Just last month, he was showcasing Prada’s Fall 2022 collection on the catwalk in Beijing.
Several scandals in recent months have haunted China’s biggest entertainers, including singer Chris Wu, who was arrested on suspicion of rape last August.
Actress Zheng Shuang was fined $46 million in tax evasion last year.
In September last year, authorities ordered broadcasters to stay away from artists with “wrong political positions” and develop a patriotic atmosphere.
“We call on a large number of TV artistes to consider ethics and art as the homework of their lives,” the China Television Artists Association said in a statement on Monday.
It warned, “No matter how many achievements you have achieved…if you don’t keep yourself clean, the so-called fame will disappear and the so-called future will be ruined.”
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