Somewhere in a dank prison cell Wu Yi Fan is breathing a sigh of relief that C-ent and C-netizens attentions just moved on to another star. C-actor Zhang Zhe Han, easily one of the IT stars of this year 2021 after the BL novel adapted wuxia drama Word of Honor aired to great acclaim and reception, just went from countless brand endorsements and acting projects lined up to none within the span of 24 hours. No joke on the speed, it was way faster than brands dropping Wu Yi Fan during his rape and drugging allegations (which took a few days for all brands to drop him), so I guess it means patriotism and national honor remains the hardest line never to cross in things Chinese public won’t accept. I went to sleep and woke up to the shit show that is Zhang Zhe Han’s cancellation, starting from netizens unearthing his SNS pictures posted a few years ago with one set featuring cherry blossoms and the other him attending a wedding. The netizen scanned the backdropped and realized the cherry blossom pictures were taken at Yasukuni Shrine, a hotbed of controversy since the remains of WWII military figures are venerated there and one can argue whether said figures are heroes (to the Japanese) or war criminals (to the Chinese and anyone else those dudes led armies against).
The wedding pictures were at a ceremony held at Nogi Shrine also dedicated to a dead Japanese general. Zhang Zhe Han immediately posted a contrite apology for his lack of knowledge about Chinese history vis-a-vis those shrines and simply visited as a tourist and to attend a friend’s wedding, and will go reflect and repent for his lack of national awareness. That is not enough this time as the government owned newspapers are coming down HARD on him saying his lack of knowledge is not good enough and he has to pay the price for going to those shrines. Within 24-hours, every single brand endorsement he has (over 20) has cut ties with him in official press announcements including but not limited to Wahaha, Pandora, Shanghai Textile, Xu Fu Chi, Anker, Xue Lu Beer, Glico, Nivea, Clinique, and his movie and drama lined up also fired him. I don’t know if his cancellation is temporary or basically permanent in the sense that he can come back a long time from now but will never get back his top actor/leading man/IT boy status he just recently enjoyed after the career making hit that was Word of Honor. Sigh.