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Kris Wu was detained on suspicion of rape, will the #Me too movement in China step forward?

Posted by on 2021/08/03. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Kris Wu, a Chinese -Canadian entertainer, who had been detained by Beijing police on suspicion of rape on July 31.The controversy, linked to the #MeToo movement, has sparked outrage in China.

Police did not provide details of the case. But just weeks ago, an 18-year-old university student in Beijing accused Wu of luring young women like her with job offers and pressuring them to have sex.

#MeToo is a hashtag widely used on social media to condemn sexual assault and harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in October 2017.Activist Tarana Burke had been using the phrase a few years before it was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano. Milano encouraged women to go public with their experiences of assault on Twitter to make people aware of the prevalence of these practices. Since then, millions of people have used the hashtag to publicize their unhappy experiences, including many famous people.

Kris Wu, 30, is the most prominent figure in China to be detained on the # MeToo charges.
He rose to fame as a member of k-pop group EXO before embarking on a successful solo career as a model, actor and singer. He denied the allegations when they first emerged, but they still caused an uproar, with at least a dozen companies, including Bulgari, Louis Vuitton and Porsche, ending their relationships with the singer.

Beijing’s Chaoyang District Public Security Bureau said in a statement on social media on last Saturday night that it had been investigating online allegations that Wu had “repeatedly tricked young women into having sex. “Wu was detained while the criminal investigation continued, the statement added.

Du Meizhu, Wu’s accuser, has said publicly that when she first met Wu in last December, she was taken to Wu’s home in Beijing by his agent to discuss work. She said that she was forced to drink cocktails until she lost consciousness and later found herself in Wu’s bed.

According to her, their date continued until March, when he stopped returning her calls and texts. She also said she believed he was targeting other young women.
Wu’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The journalist could not get in touch with Du Meizhu.

It was not immediately clear whether the police were specifically investigating Dumeizhu’s allegations. In a statement in July, the police released the preliminary findings of their investigation into the allegations charged by Du Meizhu. Police said that Miss Du hyped her story to “boost the popularity of herself”, and her supporters have criticized the comment as humiliating for the victim.

Despite strict government restrictions on activism and dissent, the outpouring of support for Du Meizhu shows that China’s nascent # Metoo movement continues to grow. After Du Meizhu spoke out, her supporters flooded the social media pages of several brands, threatening boycotts if they did not abandon their partnerships with Mr. Wu. The move quickly forced the companies to distance themselves from Wu.

The allegations have sparked a heated debate about issues such as victim shaming, sexual consent and abuse of power in the workplace. Before the globalization of the # Metoo movement, these concepts rarely appeared in mainstream discussions in China.

Chinese authorities generally discourage women from making complaints about sexual misconduct, and survivors of sexual assault or harassment are often humiliated and even sued for defamation. Censorship and restrictions on dissent also hamper efforts by feminist activists to organize, and even provide cover for trolls to vent their abuse.

However, the high-profile nature of the controversy has made Du’s accusations impossible to ignore by the Chinese authorities, who are always on the lookout for perceived social unrest.

The announcement, posted by the police on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform, immediately sparked heated debate and received more than six million likes.
Lu Pin, a women’s rights activist based in New York, said Wu’s detention was an important step forward for China’s # Metoo movement.

“Whatever the motive of the police, the mere fact that he was detained is significant,” Mr. Lu said.

“Over the past three years, many prominent people have faced accusations from # Metoo, but they have been fine,” Mr. Lu said.”Now with Kris Wu, the # Metoo movement has finally taken down someone with real power in China — which shows that rape is unacceptable no matter how powerful you are.”
Wu’s detention comes amid a broader government crackdown on the entertainment industry.

In recent years, Chinese authorities have moved aggressively to clean up tax evasion in the industry and set salary caps for the country’s biggest movie stars.In June, China’s Internet regulator began cracking down on the so-called “chaotic” fan base of online celebrities, which the government has come to see as a source of growing unrest in public opinion.

The People’s Daily, the Mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, described Wu’s detention as a warning to celebrities that neither fame nor foreign nationality would protect them from the law.

“Foreign nationality is not a talisman, no matter how famous, there is no immunity,” the propaganda agency said. “Remember: the more popular you are, the more self-discipline you need. The more popular you are, the more law-abiding you need to be.”

The most famous # MeToo movement in Chinese entertainment was in 2018, when former CCTV intern Xuan Zi accused Zhu Jun, a well-known TV host, of sexual harassment. However, supporters of the movement were frustrated when the trial was postponed in May.

The similar story happened in other place around China, on June 25 this year, a female graduate student from the School of Foreign Languages of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan poured her heart out with a long article of ten thousand words to report the sexual harassment of female students, including his own, by professors at his college. Zhang Jianwei, 59, a professor at the School of Foreign Languages at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, sexually harassed her over a period of 20 months, according to the recent graduate students. She said Zhang sexually harassed her with words, sent her wechat messages, sent her gifts, and attempted physical contact. The professor has been removed from his teaching post and suspended his teaching qualifications.

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