China’s state broadcaster aided an unusually aggressive anti-drug campaign by perhaps its most effective anti-drug ad yet.
CCTV aired pixelated footage showing Jaycee Chan, the son of martial arts legend Jackie Chan, and Taiwanese actor Ko Chen-tung being interrogated by police about drug possession. It also showed Mr. Ko repeatedly sniffling and crying as he delivered an apology to his friends and family for using drugs.
The official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday that police had seized more than 100 grams of marijuana from the younger Mr. Chan’s home. In a statement, Chan Jr.’s management agency, M’stones International, confirmed the actor’s detention and apologized on his behalf. “We, along with Jaycee Chan, are willing to bear responsibility for the societal effects of this incident,” the statement said.
Mr. Ko’s management company, Star Ritz Productions, also apologized on behalf of its client, with producer Angie Chai Zhi-ping saying in a post on Facebook that the company had “neglected to educate him about life as part of his career development.”
In the CCTV segment, scenes of the police interrogation were juxtaposed against flashier images of the actors in more glamorous on-screen roles. CCTV’s broadcast also contained scenes from a 2011 anti-drug ad that Mr. Ko had previously starred in, telling viewers, “You can chat with friends, you don’t need to take drugs to reduce stress.”
The arrests come amidst a number of other high-profile cases of Chinese celebrities allegedly caught using drugs. They include actor Gao Hu and singer Li Daimo, both convicted and jailed earlier this year. They also follow on the heels of agreement by several dozen entertainment agencies to boycott celebrities who consume drugs.
The international martial arts icon —who’s starred in various anti-drug ads himself— sits on the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body.
However, authorities seem intent on making the younger Mr. Chan and Mr. Ko examples. In addition to today’s CCTV airing, Xinhua ran a story last night citing numerous analysts who decried the influence of celebrities who take drugs. “Artists need to devote their entire spirit to the pursuit of art, and need to be responsible to themselves, the industry and the people,” the story cited Chinese director Zhai Junjie as saying.