A number of main luxurious manufacturers have severed ties with Kris Wu, a Chinese language Canadian singer with an enormous following, after an 18-year-old accused him of concentrating on and pressuring her and different younger girls for intercourse.
The accusations, which Mr. Wu denied in a number of statements, have triggered widespread public outrage and thrown his profession into tumult. A minimum of 11 corporations together with Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Porsche and L’Oréal suspended or terminated contracts with Mr. Wu this week, after his accuser spoke out throughout an interview with a web-based Chinese language information outlet on Sunday.
Mr. Wu, 30, rose to fame as a member of the Ok-pop band EXO earlier than embarking on a solo profession as a mannequin, actor and singer, drawing greater than 50 million followers on-line in addition to profitable endorsement offers. Recognized in China as Wu Yifan, he’s one among nation’s hottest celebrities to face #MeToo accusations.
Mr. Wu’s accuser is Du Meizhu, a college pupil in Beijing who mentioned she first met him when she was 17. She mentioned she had been invited to Mr. Wu’s residence by his agent with the suggestion that he may assist her appearing profession, in keeping with her social media posts and the interview with Netease, a web-based portal. As soon as there, she was pressured to drink cocktails till she misplaced consciousness, she mentioned, and later discovered herself in his mattress.
Ms. Du mentioned she believed that this was a tactic he used to attract different younger girls. She accused Mr. Wu of concerning girls as if they have been all concubines in a harem. “You take a look at plenty of photos of women at ingesting events and choose them like merchandise,” she wrote in a single social media publish, addressing him instantly.
Mr. Wu has denied the accusations, by means of his lawyer, Zhai Jiayu, and public statements. On Monday, Mr. Wu mentioned that he had solely met Ms. Du as soon as in December of final yr.
“I declare that there has by no means been any ‘deciding on a concubine’!” he wrote on the social media platform Weibo, referring to Ms. Du’s harem remark. He denied having ever seduced, drugged or raped anybody. “If there was such conduct, please don’t fear, I’ll go to jail on my own!”
His lawyer has vowed to file a lawsuit towards Ms. Du and report her to the police for defamation. Ms. Du has additionally mentioned that she reported her accusations to the police.
Ms. Du and Mr. Wu didn’t reply to emailed requests to remark.
Ms. Du’s account has been met with an outpouring of help, an indication of the rising power of the nation’s small Me Too motion. One in every of her posts on Weibo has been favored by greater than 10 million customers. Hashtags equivalent to #girlshelpgirls and others calling for Mr. Wu to give up present enterprise have been seen by thousands and thousands.
Ms. Du’s supporters flooded the social media pages of a number of manufacturers with threats of boycotts if they didn’t terminate their endorsement offers with Mr. Wu. One after the other, the manufacturers moved to distance themselves from him.
“This incident reveals that these days individuals will now not swallow insults and humiliation and be afraid of slut shaming,” mentioned Feng Yuan, a feminist scholar and activist. “Individuals more and more wish to converse up and make themselves heard.”
#MeToo activism might be difficult in China, the place the ruling Communist Social gathering imposes strict constraints on dissent and public debate. Some girls who’ve come ahead with accounts of abuse have confronted a public and authorized backlash. The authorities usually discourage girls from reporting rape and different intercourse crimes.
It was unclear how the authorities have been planning to reply to the allegations towards Mr. Wu, however a minimum of three teams affiliated with the federal government put out statements calling for an investigation.
“Everyone seems to be equal earlier than the regulation, and celebrities with big followings aren’t any exception,” China Ladies’s Information, the newspaper of a state-run girls’s group, wrote on its social media web page. “Imagine that the regulation won’t fallacious a great particular person, nor will it let a depraved one go.”
Ms. Du’s first began talking out on July 8, when she launched screenshots of conversations between her and Mr. Wu, in addition to individuals she mentioned labored for him. She accused them of engaging younger girls by dangling alternatives in present enterprise.
In a single screenshot, dated July of final yr, an individual reaching out to Ms. Du on Weibo requested her if she can be all for working within the film trade. The particular person then added her contact on WeChat, a chat app, and requested if she had simply accomplished her faculty entrance examination, saying that he labored for Mr. Wu’s studio and so they have been searching for new expertise.
Ms. Du mentioned she felt helpless when she discovered that Mr. Wu particularly focused younger girls like her. “Certainly, we’re all softhearted once we see your harmless expression, however that doesn’t imply that we wish to grow to be playthings whom you may deceive!” she wrote in a publish on Weibo.
She mentioned quickly after that, one other affiliate of Mr. Wu’s contacted her on WeChat to supply what she thought of hush cash to take down the publish. When she demanded a public apology from Mr. Wu, the affiliate mentioned they have been contemplating authorized motion towards her, in keeping with screenshots of the chat she posted on-line. She mentioned that 500,000 yuan, or almost $80,000, was later transferred to her checking account, although she had not given her consent.
Within the Netease interview on Sunday, Ms. Du mentioned that she had began to return the cash in batches and that she was gearing up for a authorized battle.
In detailing her first encounter with Mr. Wu, Ms. Du mentioned that she had been instructed that she can be going to debate potential jobs. She mentioned that she tried to depart, however that his employees took away her cellphone and warned that if Mr. Wu didn’t have a great time, it could possibly be detrimental to her future as an actor.
Pressured into ingesting closely, she mentioned, she ended up sleeping with Mr. Wu. They dated till March, in keeping with her account of the occasions, when he stopped responding to her calls and messages.
Since then, she mentioned, she had heard from seven different girls who had been equally handled. She mentioned she needed to battle for his or her pursuits as effectively. She didn’t determine the opposite individuals, and the accusations couldn’t be instantly corroborated.
Since going public, Ms. Du mentioned she has been a goal of cyberbullying and loss of life threats, and that she had been recognized with despair. Mr. Wu’s worldwide fan membership mentioned in a publish on Weibo: “It’s a pity to see a groundless web drama flip into an evil carnival that violates the reality and legal guidelines.”
However a number of different individuals on social media this week posted messages of help, together with screenshots of chats that they mentioned indicated Mr. Wu or his employees inappropriately focused younger girls.
“Ladies, please shield your self,” Zhang Dansan, a former member of a lady band, wrote on Weibo on Monday, after sharing screenshots of conversations that she mentioned confirmed how Mr. Wu had requested her if she was a virgin. “I wish to be liked too, however don’t be fooled.”