China’s history academy cautions students over celebrity worship Published: 2020/5/11 20:11:14

Xiao Zhan Photo: IC

A primary school teacher in East China's Jiangsu Province was suspended on Monday for instructing her students to appear in a short video in support of a Chinese actor, triggering controversy on the Chinese internet.

Chinese academic institutes and youth organizations voiced their disapproval online. They advised people to avoid engaging in such behavior and suggested that young people should learn from history and maintain a rational mind when thinking about their idols.

The teacher, in Suqian, Shuyang county, posted her video on Douyin on Sunday. In the short clip, a dozen or so students shout slogans such as "Xiao Zhan, you are good. We like you. Let's go!" The students also danced to one of Xiao's new songs.

The school's principal was reprimanded by the local education bureau after they received reports on the incident and later conducted an investigation, the Yangtze Evening Post reported Monday.

This was not the first time school teachers have used their students to support Xiao. A screenshot found online depicted a teacher directing kindergarten students to shout slogans for Xiao Zhan in November 2019, according to the report.

On Sunday evening, Xiao responded on his Weibo account, "Please focus on your study, work, and life… I do not need support."

"Looking back history, cultural work during a dynasty's peak is majestic and grand, while demoralizing music was composed when a dynasty began to descend," read the Chinese Academy of History posted on its official Weibo account.

The message alluded the two cases, saying that "leading young students to support celebrities publicly in classroom shows the loopholes of education administration," it read. "Moreover, it is the alarm bell for a golden era."

The post has since garnered almost 2 million likes and has been reposted 157,000 times.

Communist Youth Leagues in provincial regions reposted the message and said, "The cultivation of young people's value matters the future of the nation."

"For a fan, such behavior is irrational; For a teacher, it is a severe teaching administration accident," Shi Wenxue, a teacher at the Beijing Film Academy, told the Global Times on Monday. "The scandals show that Xiao's fan club, its agency, and Xiao's guidance as an idol, all have problems."

Xiao has been embroiled in controversy since February, when Archive of Our Own, world's largest fanfic platform, was blocked in China allegedly due to Xiao's fans' reports sent to the Chinese internet watchdog as disliked fanfics related to Xiao.

Afterward Xiao and his fans became the target of attacks from other fandom platforms on the Chinese internet.

Some of Xiao's diehard fans were "forcing" other fans to pay for their idol. They demanded fans to buy at least 105 online copies of Xiao's new song, which earned 75 million yuan ($10.5 million) the day after it was released on April 25, the Chongqing-based Shangyou News reported. 

Some fans even paid via online microlending services such as Alibaba's Huabei.

On Wednesday, in a video interview, Xiao apologized for the "disputes" related to him, but some netizens said they would not accept his apology.

Posted in: SOCIETY,TV

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