At 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, Beijing police introduced the formal detainment of Chinese language-Canadian pop big name Kris Wu on rape allegations. That is the primary time the sort of high-profile famous person in China has been charged underneath suspicion of rape. Earlier sexual attack circumstances that concerned public figures, reminiscent of CCTV host Zhu Jun and JD Team’s founder Liu Qiangdong, have most commonly long past unresolved.
The scoop got here as a victory for Chinese language feminists, however for Wu’s personal enthusiasts, this long-waited end result was once too arduous to swallow.
Over the times of the scandal’s fermenting, Pandaily accrued reactions from Wu’s last supporters and taken care of their arguments kind of into 3 classes: the ones interesting to feelings, the conspiracists and the so-called “RONs,” i.e. those that declare to be rational, goal and impartial.
To a big extent, those arguments, particularly the latter two classes, transcend the blind toughen of crazed enthusiasts for his or her loved idol, however constitute one of the habitual voices towards China’s feminist motion typically.
The emotion-driven enthusiasts
This crew represents Wu’s maximum unswerving fan base, a lot of whom expressed emotions of heartbreak and confusion as the picture of a person supposedly dutiful and respectful in opposition to ladies collapsed.
“I don’t imagine it. I’ve been his fan for 9 years. I handiest accept as true with his personal phrases. I don’t perceive why he would do such issues.”
“It’s so unhappy that somebody [Wu] who would lend a hand his mother with home tasks, who discovered find out how to pressure simply to lend a hand his mother out, who loves his mother and respects ladies, has been demonized as somebody the exact opposite.”
“Nobody is absolute best. It’s a must to permit him to make errors…he’ll change into a greater individual after those setbacks.”
Others appear to assert non-public and timeless loyalty for its personal sake.
“I really like him it doesn’t matter what.”
“We the enthusiasts didn’t come amid the peak of his repute, and we can no longer abandon him in his hardest time.”
“You [Wu] don’t seem to be by myself.”
For outsiders, those enthusiasts seem no higher than brain-washed mobs who refuse to simply accept the reality. However for the enthusiasts themselves, this unbending loyalty additionally comes from the true exertions that they’ve invested as a part of their expression of affection for Wu.
A fan who is going via the identify Zhang (@张张再长高一点) expressed her toughen for Kris Wu via organizing charity occasions in his identify. She has been energetic in a company referred to as “Kris Wu Dream Strolling Team”, a charity crew established via and composed of Wu’s enthusiasts to lend a hand other folks succeed in their goals. The gang has held greater than 100 charity occasions over the last 4 years, additionally provide right through the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.
Zhang participated in 3 of the gang’s occasions, every of which produced a “delightful, enjoyable and proud” reminiscence, consistent with her personal Weibo account. In overdue July, because the central Chinese language province Henan was once hit via an exceptional flood, and when Wu’s scandal first ignited public anger on social media, Zhang accrued donations from enthusiasts, bought quick noodles, bottled water and sanitary pads, employed two vans, and despatched them to the flood-hit town of Zhengzhou.
The vans arrived in entrance of a medical institution. Zhang submit banners that wrote “Donation from Kris Wu Fanatics,” and waited for group of workers from the medical institution to simply accept the help. As she waited, two ladies handed via, chuckling, “Is that this a comic story? Why is he nonetheless making donations now?” A nurse from the medical institution stated, “Are you able to take the banner down? It’s so unpleasant.”
On WeChat, Zhang cried to her pal – additionally partial to Kris Wu – “Other people right here stay pronouncing Wu will probably be banned quickly. They stated he shouldn’t be sending donations right here…I can’t stand it anymore.” Depressed via the ridicule from passers-by, Zhang in the end took the banner with Wu’s identify down, despite the fact that the provides from enthusiasts had been nonetheless donated.
Some other member of the charity crew shared a dialog during which her pal, understanding she was once heartbroken over Wu’s scandal, attempted to convenience her. “You may have change into a greater individual over time on account of Kris Wu. You probably did numerous charity paintings and made numerous pals alongside the way in which…Even supposing you’re now not his fan, you continue to have had those years of happiness.”
Following Wu’s arrest, Sina Weibo got rid of his social media account on Sunday, along with his Tremendous Matter Neighborhood, the place enthusiasts normally just about collect. The legit account of the “Kris Wu Dream Strolling Team” was once got rid of at the identical day.
Except the emotionalists, there may be a powerful tendency amongst Kris Wu supporters to victimize him via inventing conspiracies. In such narratives, Wu is both a sacrifice of the ferocious festival in China’s leisure business, or an excessively type boy cheated and utilized by depraved ladies.
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The primary conspiracy that sees Wu as a sufferer of his very personal business originated from a key function of Chinese language fan tradition: The “data-is-everything good judgment.” Chinese language student Yin Yiyi argues that the defining function of on-line fandom in lately’s China is its obsession with the “visitors information” celebrities can draw in, which can resolve their recognition and in the end their industrial worth within the leisure business. Below this good judgment, enthusiasts collect in combination to create extra information visitors for his or her idols via actions reminiscent of collective vote casting and trolling, and via doing so, they change into a extremely unique group. Most often, fan communities don’t seem to be handiest unique but in addition opposed towards every different, as a result of everyone seems to be a possible competitor who would possibly hurt the celebrity and industrial worth of their very own idols.
It’s due to this fact simple to remember the fact that as manufacturers reduce ties with Kris Wu, some enthusiasts are satisfied that the scandal was once plotted via Wu’s green-eyed competition. “Some losers within the business are simply jealous of Kris’s best industrial worth, they usually see Kris because the archenemy,” one fan wrote bitterly.
The second one narrative – additionally one emphasizing Wu’s victimization – takes a not unusual argument found in maximum different episodes within the Chinese language #MeToo motion: The ladies are in charge.
“Du has the sort of tough staff in the back of her. Wouldn’t you’ve got nightmares while you smear an blameless individual like this?” This Weibo publish accused Du Meizhu, the primary girl a number of the kind of twenty to make public allegations towards Wu, of fabricating rumors. The publish collected 1.4 thousand likes.
Right here, Wu is victimized as somebody arrange via a lady and the “tough staff” in the back of her. Consistent with this principle, via exposing main points of her being sexually assaulted via Kris Wu, Du, a social media influencer, was once making an attempt to draw public consideration and switch it into income at the cost of Wu’s popularity.
In one among her early posts, Du referred to Wu’s sexual incompetence via calling him a “toothpick,” which was once quickly picked via netizens and made into memes and jokes that went viral on social media. This in flip changed into some other piece of proof to toughen the conspiracy principle that Du had sought to smash Kris Wu. Consistent with his enthusiasts, Wu suffered “the most important cyber violence ever on Chinese language Web” after Du’s defamation of the celebrity’s sexual prowess.
Within the public dialogue round Kris Wu scandal, there’s some other crew, the RONs, or those that declare to have taken a rational, goal and impartial place within the debate.
The most typical arguments hired via the RONs come with “Let’s look ahead to the results of the authority’s investigation,” and “There is not any concrete proof of Wu’s raping her,” in spite of everything, “Public opinion can not override the justice gadget.”
This sort of supporter isn’t restricted to Kris Wu’s enthusiasts; possibly extra significantly, lots of the RONs have a tendency to be male. On Zhihu
“It’s no longer about supporting someone. Du Meizhu accuses Wu of raping her. The prison gadget will do her justice if she has proof. But when there’s no proof, nobody has the fitting to pass judgement on Wu.”
“I don’t toughen Kris Wu, however I’m indubitably towards Du Meizhu…Sure, her accusations towards Wu may had been proper, however she couldn’t supply any proof…She will use it to focus on any male on this planet, and it might paintings.”
“I toughen no person. The one factor I toughen is the legislation…Now there’s a very unhealthy development, the place ladies can simply win over public opinion, they usually now have a voice within the Web house. They start to use this proper to talk for benefit, and a few even try to override authority, to carry trials at the Web.”
“As of late, if we’ve a public tournament involving a person and a lady, the ladies will at all times come ahead first to grasp the ethical excessive floor. For them, it isn’t essential to come to a decision who is true and who’s improper, crucial factor is to pressure public opinion right into a path favorable to them…If someone dares to indicate ‘the details don’t seem to be transparent but, look ahead to the legit end result,’ they’re going to no doubt be hunted via those mad feminists.”
Arguments like those nonetheless held company even after Wu’s detention on Saturday, with the RONs insisting that whilst Wu would possibly deserve what had took place, this doesn’t imply Du Meizhu, and her feminine supporters typically, had the privilege to salary what they see as cyberbullying on a person with out concrete proof within the identify of “ladies lend a hand ladies.”
On the other hand, for Chinese language feminists, this “unhealthy development” which Wu supporters harshly repel represents an uplifting episode in China’s #MeToo Motion. In her contemporary article about Kris Wu, feminist Lü Pin issues out that the extent of public toughen that Du Meizhu won was once unthinkable even 5 years in the past, when a lady who stated she have been emotionally abused and manipulated via Kris Wu spoke out, however was once temporarily silenced amidst a refrain of slut-shaming curses at the Web. On this sense, this tournament is a manifestation of the development Chinese language feminists have made over time via coming ahead bravely to reveal male abusers.
For the government, although, the purpose of argument would possibly not lie in whether or not or no longer Wu’s detention marks a feminist luck, however in a wild leisure business in want of a few legislation. The high-profile sanction of Kris Wu is exceptional within the historical past of the Chinese language govt’s coping with tarnished pop stars. So far, all social media accounts associated with Kris Wu had been got rid of, at the side of the dismissal of just about 800 enthusiasts teams and blocking off of 108 Tremendous Matter Communities with “deceptive content material.” On Tuesday, China’s Our on-line world Management introduced that during the newest marketing campaign concentrated on “dangerous fan tradition,” it had cleansed greater than 150,000 “destructive posts” and closed greater than 1300 “problematic teams.”