Besides the government's anti-corruption campaign, another high-profile movement happening in China recently is the anti-drug war which has landed thousands of people, including a handful of well-known stars in jail.
News about two more celebrities caught for drug use broke out on Monday, immediately sweeping across the Internet and bringing this anti-drug war to another climax - possibly because the two young actors involved were the last people anybody expected: Rising Taiwan heartthrob, the 23-year-old Kai Ko and Hong Kong singer and actor, the 32-year-old Jaycee Chan (also known as Jaycee Fong), son of Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan.
According to Beijing Police, the two actors were caught using marijuana at Chan's house in Beijing on Thursday, while 100 grams of marijuana was later found in Chan's house as well. Currently, Chan is being detained for "providing a shelter for others to abuse drugs," while Ko is under administrative detention for drug abuse.
Good boys gone bad?
The unexpected case was shocking to many, myself included.
Jaycee Chan, is not only famous for being Jackie Chan's son, he has also played leading roles in many films like 2 Young and The Sun Also Rises, in addition to his music career. People liked him for his attitude as well, even with such an internationally famous father, Jaycee never seemed to behave like many other arrogant second generation stars do and his personal image was very close to that of a good obedient boy.
When the news of the arrest hit the Internet, this image led many people to believe that "Ko led Chan astray." However, according to the police report, it seems Chan's "good boy" image isn't all that trustworthy.
The news was also shocking because of his father Jackie Chan's stance against drugs, the elder Chan was made an anti-drug ambassador by the China National Narcotic Control Commission in 2009. "If my son ever committed a crime, I would call the police myself," he once stated to the media years ago. It seems that now, the father will have to pay for the sins of the son.
Ko is also very well-known, first dipping his toe in the entertainment industry three years ago when he played the leading role in You Are the Apple of My Eye. With his handsome looks, he soon became a huge heartthrob for girls and a young actor with a promising future.
Ironically, he was among six stars who appeared in a public anti-drug video shown in Taiwan in which he firmly says, "I don't do drugs… Talking with friends can help relieve pressure, there's no need to use drugs." Yet, now his latest TV appearance has been in front of CCTV (China Central Television) cameras in jail sobbing and apologizing for his behavior.
Some claim that their "punishment" has been too cruel and could damage their future careers, yet I hold that there is indeed a need for such a punishment. Just because you're adored by fans doesn't mean you can walk around acting as a model of morality while violating the law.
News about celebrities arrested for drug abuse has been appearing in the media quite frequently these days. Chan and Ko have brought the number of celebrities arrested on drug related charges this year to nine.
Li Daimo, a singer who gained fame through The Voice of China in 2012, was arrested for drug abuse on March 17 and sentenced to nine months in prison for allowing other people to do drugs at his residence. Zhang Yuan, a famed director, was arrested and detained for drug abuse on June 13, his second offense since he was caught six years ago. Ning Caishen, a screenwriter, was arrested and detained on June 24. Hong Kong actor Roy Cheung was arrested and detained on July 2. Zhang Mo, actor and son of renowned actor Zhang Guoli, was arrested and detained on July 29. Actor Gao Hu was arrested and detained on August 4.
Taking a look farther back we can find a number of celebrities that were arrested for the same reasons, like singer Man Wenjun in 2009 and actors Sun Xing and Max Mok in 2011. But it's really unprecedented for such a huge quantity of celebrities to get caught in such a short period.
Many of them have been regarded as role models by fans, especially for young people.
For years, drug use has been an unspoken habit within entertainment circles.
In Hollywood, this type of news appears all the time. Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen have made quite a name for themselves when it comes to their long-term drug abuse. Drug-related incidents also took the life of talented stars such as Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse and Cory Monteith, the leading actor of Glee. It seems not many stars have been able to remake themselves like Robert Downey Jr.
This is why cracking down on drugs is necessary. To avoid giving the illusion to youngsters that taking drugs is cool since their idols are doing the exact same thing.
Unlike celebrities, who have the money to afford such an addiction, common families aren't so well off and so drugs can lead to financial ruin.
The high pressure of the entertainment business is not a good excuse for using drugs. A message should be sent out that crocodile tears and apologies are not going to set you free.
If you dare to use drugs, you'd better be prepared to face the consequences of some serious prison time and a negative impact on your career.
This year proves that the police are taking a strong stance when it comes to cracking down on people performing illegal activities, no matter who they may be.