National Theatre denies ‘tailor-made recruitment’ upon investigation, after admission of young celebrities sparks backlash
Published: Jul 16, 2022 05:22 PM
National Theatre of China

National Theatre of China

The National Theatre of China officially denied the alleged "tailor-made recruitment," after the announced admission of some young stars into the theater has drawn widespread public criticism. 

The recruitment procedures, qualifications of those admitted and the examination process were all in line with regulations, the top Chinese arts group said in a statement released on Saturday.

The recruitment process followed the principles of openness, equality, competition and merit, and the procedures were carried out in strict accordance with the recruitment announcement, it said.

A total of 590 people applied for the recruitment, of whom 447 passed the qualification review. According to the final results of their examinations,  applicants were ranked from high to low, and the theater initially identified 10 candidates for the recruitment, including seven for the posts of actors and one for the post of director..

Earlier, on July 6, the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security posted on its website a shortlisted candidate list, including the young stars Yi Yangqianxi (Jackson Yee), Hu Xianxu, and Luo Yizhou.

After the name list of the to-be-recruited candidates was announced, while some fans congratulated these young stars for their recognition from the country's top theater, there was controversy about the qualifications of the to-be-recruited stars because the job descriptions stated that only fresh graduates with no formal work experience would be recruited.

As becoming an actor at the National Theatre of China is widely considered one of the best jobs for the majority of art students, many netizens believe that these celebrities who have already been earning super high incomes in the market should not have applied for such jobs and crowded out job opportunities of ordinary people.

In the face of a the public skepticism, the National Theatre of China said on July 7 that it would investigate and respond to the concerns.

After a week of investigation, the top art group released a statement on Saturday morning, claiming that the recruitment process was compliant with rules and that the admitted candidates all met the requirements.

In response to netizens' allegations that some of the proposed candidates did not meet the qualifications of 'fresh graduates without formal working experience,' the theatre said it investigated again and found that none of the admitted candidates had signed employment contracts with any employers during their school years, thus meeting the recruitment requirements.

The 10 shortlisted candidates all participated in the three rounds of interviews. There is no case that someone did not participate in the interviews, in line with the procedures and requirements, the statement said.

The National Theatre of China also said that through public response, it has been aware of problems in current recruitment process, including inconvenience caused by not notifying those who failed the interviews. The theatre promised an improvement in the future.

Global Times