Give celebs who 'sinned' 2nd chance: China official
ARTISTS charged with drug abuse should be given a second chance when they return to society after serving their terms, said an official of China National Narcotics Control Commission.
In an interview with China News on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Lan Weihong, deputy director of the Office of China National Narcotics Control and Commission, said public figures, especially those in showbiz, have a big impact on youth.
"As a group, they shoulder more social responsibility.
"As celebrities, as the idols of our youth, they should set good examples, not just on the screen but also in their private lives.
"If our idols appear great on screen but do drugs in private, then they should not go on the screen in the first place," said Mr Lan.
However, he did speak on behalf of those who have done wrong and called on society to give them second chances.
"We are a society ruled by law, and artists who do drugs will be punished according to the law, and by the media watchdog and Ministry of Culture. After that, if they comply with the regulations, they can perform again.
"The public has the right to choose as well. Viewers can choose to see or not see someone's work; that's perfectly normal," he noted.
Beijing Trade Association for Performances announced last September that it would not hire any stars involved in drug abuse or prostitution following high-profile arrests of celebrities last year.
Jaycee, son of gongfu superstar Jackie Chan, and Kai Ko, who shot to fame for his role in the movie You Are The Apple Of My Eye, were charged with drug offences last year.
They have resumed their showbiz careers after serving their sentences.
For those charged with drug abuses and wanting to return to the stage, Mr Lan advised them to be as good as their words.
"Quit once and for all, stay away from drugs, and have the courage to come out to the public and admit your mistake and explain how you overcame the problem.
"If you hide, or go back on your words, you will be shunned," said Mr Lan.
ASIA NEWS NETWORK