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Top Chinese idol raises ire of netizens with short video featuring song with explicit sexual content

作者:admin 2020-12-15

Top Chinese idol raises ire of netizens with short video featuring song with explicit sexual content

Wang Yibo Photo: Sina Weibo

Wang Yibo, a 23-year-old Chinese idol with more than 36 million fans on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo, published a stylish short video on Sunday that quickly became the target of criticism for his choice to use a song whose lyrics feature highly sexualized content as the background music. 

Filmed from the angle of a selfie, Wang’s video shows him swiftly changing outfits in front of a mirror. The short video was published on Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, a short video platform in China that is particularly popular among 19- to 24-year-old male users and 19- to 30-year-old female users, according to the app’s 2020 user portrait published on Sina Games in March. 

While the idol’s fans posted comments such as “so cool” and “he couldn’t be any more handsome,” some more attentive netizens raised concerns about Wang’s video due to his choice of background music: “WAP” – the song by famous US female rappers Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion that UK newspaper The Independent described as a “horny hit.”

Though Wang did not include the entire song in his video, some netizens still found the highly sexually suggestive lyrics that were included such as “Extra large and extra hard” and “make it cream, make me scream” inappropriate since teenagers and young adults make up a large portion of the idol’s fan base.

“Douyin has so many users and a lot of teenagers too. I can’t imagine what would happen if his teenage fans were attracted to this song because their idol shared this,” posted one netizen. 

“Repulsive, how can it be so scandalous?” posted another. 

Some netizens tried to defend Wang by pointing out that rap music tends to focus on topics such as sex, and that Wang himself is a hip-pop music fan so it should come as no surprise that he is a fan of the track since it is one of the most popular and successful hits of 2020. 

However, many netizens seemed to be unable to accept this position, potentially because Wang’s persona has such a tight bond to keywords such as “outstanding idol” and “teenage icon.” 

As a member of South Korean-Chinese boy band UNIQ, Wang is a versatile idol and a skilled motorcycle racer. He first demonstrated his talent for dancing when he was participated in an IBD dance competition as a high school student in 2011. After his debut in 2014, the teenage icon gradually became one of China’s top stars, eventually reaching No.71 on Forbes China Top 100 Celebrity list in 2019. 

Wang’s old video has been replaced with a new one on Monday that features a different background song. 

“Huh? He reposted it again?” one netizen posted on Douyin.

“Did you just change the music?” posted another.

Maintaining the online safety of young people has been a significant issue that has inspired online social platforms in China to launch ‘Youth modes’ aimed at protecting young people from harmful adult content.

Douyin, for example, has a Youth platform dedicated to recommending educational and cultural content to young users on the app’s front page. In addition to this, current settings do not allow underage users to spend money to reward live streamers on the platform. Also, youth users are not allowed to access the platform from 10 pm to 6 am each day.  

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