Edison Chen, though a victim himself, is a celebrity who can never be a "role model."
The racy photos of the seemingly calm Chen -- a 27-year-old Cantonese-Canadian actor -- and some of the most sought-after female celebrities in the fame and fortune-obsessed city of Hong Kong have been spread virtually everywhere throughout Chinese-speaking cyberspace for the past few tumultuous weeks.
We know the girls have been disgraced and Chen has apologized amid a tsunami of camera flashes in a packed press conference of more than 300 juice-hungry local and foreign journalists.
But there are some very important but apparently forgotten points that I want to make here. First of all, before the investigators announce whether or not Chen did force or drug the girls to take the photos in sexually suggestive poses, both the girls and Chen are victims. Chen is a victim himself. Legally he's not a victimizer at this point, as the Hong Kong police have not yet completed their probe.
"I have failed as a role model. However I hope that this matter will teach everyone a lesson," said a contrite Chen who refused to take any questions from the media.
But wait a minute, what kind of "role model" has Chen ever been? And what lesson should all of us learn from this brouhaha?
Chen's spoiled-kid, bad-boy, Eminem-like image has secured him numerous endorsement contracts with such international brands as Pepsi, Nike, Levi's and Samsung. Perhaps he's been an effective product endorser and talented musician enjoying a huge teen following in Asia, but a critically acclaimed actor in ultra-competitive Hong Kong? Not really -- he hasn't been that.
Not until this sex scandal broke out and sent shockwaves across the Chinese community did Chen receive instant, overnight international media coverage, thanks largely to CNN, Google and YouTube.
Media reports have suggested that the fact that Chen is from a broken family meant he was raised without proper parenting, which led to a life of sex, drugs and drunk driving, contributing to his brattish persona both on and off screen. The implied message is that such a man can never be a suitable role model for an impressionable teen audience.
No matter if you like Chen or not, many supportive fans consider it a loss now that Chen has announced his indefinite retreat from Hong Kong's glitzy, bling-bling showbiz industry.
"I have decided to do this to give myself an opportunity to heal myself and to search my soul. I will dedicate my time to charity and community work over the next few months," said Chen as he concluded his seven-minute, gingerly worded statement.
Indeed, Asia's Eminem became a victim the moment the sexually graphic images were copied from his computer when he sent it in for repairs.
But while the musical, cinematic up-and-comer can be pleasantly consumed by all of us as a gifted entertainer, he can not be looked up to morally from now on. Let entertainment be entertainment and leave charity work to the professionals and interest groups.
No matter what indicator you use, Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning in the energy markets. Moscow is milking its oil cash cow, earning hundreds of millions of US dollars every day to bankroll the invasion of Ukraine and buy domestic support for the war. Once European sanctions against Russian crude exports kick in from November, the region’s governments will face some tough choices as the energy crisis starts to bite consumers and companies. Electricity costs for homes and businesses are set to soar from October, as the surge in oil income allows Putin to sacrifice gas revenue and squeeze supplies to
In an August 12 Wall Street Journal report, Chinese sources contend that in their July 28 phone call, United States President Joe Biden was told by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping (習近平) that “he had no intention of going to war with the US” over House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s then upcoming visit to Taiwan. However, there should be global alarm that Xi did use that visit to begin the CCP’s active war against democracy in Taiwan and globally, and that the Biden Administration’s response has been insufficient. To hear CCP officials, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesmen, and a
Much of the foreign policy conversation in the US over the past two weeks has centered on whether US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi ought to have visited Taiwan. Her backers pointed out that there was precedent for such a visit — a previous House speaker and US Cabinet members had visited Taiwan — and that it is important for officials to underscore the US’ commitment to Taiwan in the face of increasing Chinese pressure. Critics argued that the trip was ill-timed, because Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) would likely feel a need to respond, lest he appear weak
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has restarted military maneuvers around Taiwan in response to the visit of a delegation of US lawmakers led by US Senator Ed Markey, who arrived in Taiwan on Sunday. Having failed to intimidate Taiwanese with its response to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit earlier this month, Beijing is having another go at it. On Sunday, the PLA deployed 22 warplanes and six warships in areas around Taiwan, with 10 aircraft crossing the Taiwan Strait median line to coincide with the delegation’s arrival. Monday saw a slight increase in aircraft sorties, with the