Ill-mannered foreign stars set bad examples for youth

By Wang Wenwen Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/27 20:28:40

Chinese fans were recently disappointed to find out that Grammy-winning Canadian singer Justin Bieber is officially banned from performing in China.

Responding to a Chinese fan of the "Love Yourself" singer who asked for an explanation for the ban, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture said in a statement, "Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young foreign singer. In order to maintain order in the Chinese market and purify the Chinese performance environment, it is not suitable to bring in badly behaved entertainers."

Foreign media quickly reported about the ban, in an unsurprisingly satirical tone. They questioned why Bieber is seen as a "controversial" singer in China and what "bad behavior" he has done, which the bureau statement did not specify.

Besides Bieber's billboard hits that won him millions of fans across the world, the foreign media should also bear in mind the headlines that Bieber made. In 2013, he was caught on a video urinating into a working person's yellow bucket when the 19-year-old felt the call of nature.

Does this change your opinion about the Biebz? That's far from the end of his string of bad behavior. In 2014, he was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license in Miami. In the same year, Bieber was charged in Los Angeles in connection with an egg-throwing incident that damaged his Calabasas neighbor's home. Failing to draw a lesson from his past misdemeanor, he got ticketed for using his phone while driving in Beverly Hills in April this year.

How does this relate to China? When he performed in China in 2013, he was caught in photos being carried up the Great Wall by his bodyguards. Earlier in the trip, he was recorded skateboarding on Beijing streets while being chased by his bodyguards.

Bieber has done enough to make himself persona non grata, not only in China, but also other parts of the world. After the singer's arrest in Miami in 2014, a petition "Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card" on We the People, the online tool for petitioning the White House, received almost 275,000 signatures.

"We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked," the petition reads. "He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation's youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society."

These grave words are enough to describe how "controversial" Bieber is and people's fear about the impact he would have on society.

As for China, its cultural industry has vast potential, with exchanges with foreign stars increasing on a large scale. Some stars who like Bieber rose to fame at an early age may behave like a "Baby," lacking self-discipline and centering on themselves. In 2015, American celebrity Ariana Grande was caught on a security camera licking doughnuts she didn't buy before proclaiming, "I hate America." Yet she is to make her debut in China next month.

In today's China, youth are obsessed with celebrities like everywhere else in the world. Continual exposure to celebrity culture harms some young people's behavior and values. Young people may not be capable of making intelligent choices about which celebrities they follow or imitate.

Chinese authorities have been hands-on in regulating the country's cultural and entertainment industry. Lawmakers have banned celebrities with notorious records, involving drug abuse and prostitution, under the country's first film industry law. As China turns a cold shoulder to misbehaved domestic celebrities, it will not leave the door open for any ill-mannered foreign stars.

If these stars really "love their fans and hate to disappoint them" like Bieber said, they had better watch their words and deeds in their own country as well as China.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. wangwenwen@globaltimes.com.cn Follow us on Twitter @GTopinion



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