In Hong Kong, public reaction to celebrity misbehavior is far exceeding metropolitan norms. Last year’s Edison Chen imbroglio—in which photos of the singer-actor having sex with former celebrity lovers were distributed online—led to preposterous scenes as sobbing fans and outraged community leaders struggled to come to terms with the notion that stars engaged in such things as fellatio. One would have thought that we, the urbane residents of “Asia’s World City” (to use the semi-official suffix), would have taken these mundane revelations in our stride. But no. Instead we sent the terrified Chen and his former paramours into exile or hiding, from which they are only just beginning to tearfully emerge.
Now there comes an embarrassing tizzy over the singer Wei Si (also known as Jill Vidal), who together with another popstar Kelvin Kwan was arrested in Tokyo on suspicion of shoplifting 10 days ago. Kwan had a nanoscopic amount of pot on him at the time—0.2 grams, apparently—and thus the two performers are now in detention. I am not condoning law-breaking—but neither do I condone the reaction of Wei Si’s record company Amusic, which has been absurd. Amusic’s sententious general manager Nathan Cheung has said that Wei Si’s engagements will be suspended until such time as she has “done searching for herself.” By that time, apparently, the public “may give her a chance, but we know it will be a blessing which may not come by.” He added that her “link to a drug case affects society’s impression of artists and the entertainment business as a whole.”
Someone silence this prig before he makes a further ass of himself. If the “entertainment business as a whole” were really to be affected by allegations of drug use, then it’s a wonder that there’s a single entertainment company left standing, isn’t it?
It ought to be emphasized that Wei Si has yet to be convicted of any crime, and that she has not been found in possession of drugs herself.
At a press conference yesterday, Wei Si’s father burst into tears and shouldered the responsibility, saying that he had not given her a “healthy home” (a reference to his divorce from Wei Si’s mother). My heart goes out to the man. Not only is his daughter languishing in a foreign jail. He also has to prostrate himself before a society that insists on constructing celebrities as sexless, incorruptible dorks.