Porsche, Lancome among major brands that drop Kris Wu over teen sex allegations
Published: Jul 19, 2021 12:45 PM
Kris Wu photo:CFP

Kris Wu photo:CFP

Amid escalating public opinion storm against Kris Wu, who has been accused of luring underage girls for sex, at least 10 brands announced they have cut cooperation with the pop star - including luxury car brand Porsche, French beauty brand Lancôme, German brand Tempo, food brand Master Kong and platform Tencent Video.

The Chinese-Canadian singer, a former member of South Korean idol group EXO, and his studio finally broke their silence on Monday to address sexual misconduct accusations against him by Du Meizhu, who claimed to be Wu's girlfriend. 

After Du accused Wu of seducing young girls for sex and other misconduct, public opinion fermented over the past few days, and the issue topped social media trending topics on Monday. The allegations prompted many netizens to call for boycotts of Wu.

Wu said on his personal Sina Weibo account on Monday morning that his silence was intended to avoid interfering with legal procedures, but he didn't expect his silence would intensify the rumors and he couldn't bear it any longer. 

"I have never cheated, there are no 'underaged girls' or anything like that. If I did such things, I would put myself in jail!" Wu said. 

Wu's studio said on Monday morning in a statement that what Du claimed was "false." The studio also claimed that Du frequently contacted the studio and demanded huge sums of money as a requirement for her to delete and stop publishing the information. 

The studio said that it had reported the case to the public security organs for investigation.

In an earlier interview with NetEase Entertainment, Du claimed that Wu used various methods to identify and lure young girls for sex. Du claimed that the number of victims, including herself, far exceeded eight, including two minors. 

According to Du's interview with NetEase, Wu lured young women by claiming he was "recruiting actresses," used his fans group leaders to contact good-looking female fans, and would pressure girls into submission by emphasizing Wu's influence in the entertainment industry. 

In the wake of Du's disclosure, more people exposed their chat histories with Wu.  

The Global Times could not immediately verify these allegations.

Du said that she had returned hush money of about 500,000 yuan ($77,166) to Wu in installments and was ready to go through legal procedures.

Though the rights and wrongs are unclear, Chinese social media has been flooded with posts against Wu. Related topics topped the trending list on Sina Weibo on Monday morning, and the hashtag "Kris Wu's reply" had gained more than 1 billion views in a few hours.

Wu's annual income reached 150 million yuan in 2017, ranking him 10th on that year's Forbes China celebrity list. Wu has not only suffered in terms of his reputation, but is also losing contracts.

As of Monday, Porsche, Lancôme, Tempo, Chinese detergent brand Libai, food brand Master Kong's iced tea branch, kitchen appliance manufacturer Vatti, haircare brand Seeyoung, and EtherealSound, a program affiliated with China Central Television, had announced that they were terminating cooperation with Wu.

EtherealSound announced late on Sunday that all cooperation with Wu had been terminated and content in which Wu had been involved had been deleted on the app.  

Lancôme and Kiehl's deleted their social media posts showing previous cooperation with Wu.

This is not the first time that Wu has been mired in a sex scandal. Singer Lin Xiya and online celebrity Xiao Gna previously accused Wu of harassing them, but the cases did not have much impact on Wu's career. 

The public showed less tolerance this time, perhaps because it involved accusations related to underage girls. 

Chinese netizens called for legal intervention to give justified answers as the teen sex allegations and claims of his predatory behaviors against women continue to simmer online.

"I just do not want see him anymore, no matter how many PR accounts and posts his studio pays for," a Weibo user said. 

"Let's leave the case to the scale of justice. But as a customer, I have the right to say 'no' to celebrities involved with scandals," said another. 

Wang Sixin, a professor of law at the Communication University of China, told the Global Times on Monday that the huge online denunciation of Wu showed that Chinese netizens are tired of public opinion being manipulated by money. If investigations prove Wu has behaved illegally, he will definitely face severe punishment. 

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