Hong Kong TV star Wong He (王喜) has been frozen out of Chinese shows for sharing a Facebook post that suggests the late Zhou Enlai was secretly gay.
Netizens are lashing out at Wong for insulting the memory of China’s first premier, Ming Pao Daily reports.
Wong has removed the offending post on his social media accounts and all related material and issued an apology but the controversy continues to hound him.
On Sunday, in an episode of a reality show on China Central Television, Wong’s scenes had been deleted.
In some scenes where he was shown, his face had been blurred.
The show’s director, surnamed Chen, said Wong is no longer welcome.
“We will not invite him. We will not record him even if he is invited and we will not use the footage if we have recorded him,” Chen said.
“And will not air any footage that shows him.”
Lu Wei, deputy general manager of Shanghai Canxing Culture and Broadcast Co., which produces the variety show, said the incident was a challenge for the post-production team because Wong is shown in two-thirds of the program.
In a post on Monday, Wong said he meant no disrespect to Zhou and he is not trying to promote Hong Kong independence.
Wong’s popularity in the mainland has soared in recent years, driven by appearances in numerous movies and TV shows.
Chinese netizens praised CCTV’s decision to shut out Wong but one commenter said the Hong Kong celebrity was merely sharing a post written by someone else.
Wong’s critics are ignorant to compare the incident to treason and to think of themselves as living in a country like North Korea, the commenter said.
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