STARWAR ON DRUGS

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

Entertainment in­dus­try agen­cies and perf o rm i n g com­pa­nies in Bei­jing have pledged not to hire any ac­tors con­nected with drugs, af­ter a se­ries of celebrity nar­cotic-use scan­dals broke out in the past few­months.

The Bei­jing Trade As­so­ci­a­tion for Per­for­mances and 42 per­form­ing art agen­cies and groups have signed a com­mit­ment, promis­ing that they will not hire any ac­tors who are con­nected with drugs, re­ported Bei­jing Youth Daily.

The or­ga­ni­za­tions and com­pa­nies also pledged to ed­u­cate em­ploy­ees about anti-drug laws reg­u­larly and urge em­ploy­ees not to use il­le­gal drugs, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

In the past four months, Bei­jing po­lice have ar­rested 963 peo­ple sus­pected of drug crimes, a 35 per­cent in­crease year-on-year. Among those ar­rested, 58 are ac­cused of in­volve­ment in drug traf­fick­ing and smug­gling, ac­cord­ing to the Bei­jingMu­nic­i­pal Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Bureau onMon­day.

Those who don’t be­lieve in the govern­ment’s de­ter­mi­na­tion and con­tinue with il­le­gal drug use will re­gret it sooner or later.” QU XIAO MOVIE PRO­DUCER

Sev­eral celebri­ties have been de­taine­dondrug charges af­ter Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping de­clared in June that il­le­gal drugs should be wiped out and that of­fend­ers would be se­verely pun­ished.

The lat­est celebrity to be de­tained on drug charges is Gao Hu, a 40-year-old ac­tor from Qing­dao, Shan­dong province.

Gao is one of the leads in direc­tor Cao Baop­ing’s new movie The Dead End, which will be re­leased in Novem­ber.

He has also played in quite a few pop­u­lar movies and TV dra­mas, in­clud­ing direc­tor Zhang Yi­mou’s movie The Flow­ers of War in 2011, which starred Chris­tian Bale.

On Aug 12, Bei­jing po­lice an­nounced the de­ten­tion of Gao for pos­ses­sion and use of mar­i­juana and metham­phetamine, along with a busi­ness­man, a fe­male model and an ac­tor.

Gao con­fessed that he had been smok­ing mar­i­juana and he tested pos­i­tive af­ter his ar­rest on Aug 4, po­lice said.

Not long be­fore, Zhang Mo, ac­tor and son to ac­tor and direc­tor Zhang Guoli, made news head­lines when po­lice con­firmed he was ar­rested for us­ing drugs on July 29, fol­low­ing his ar­rest over mar­i­juana use in 2012 when po­lice searched his home af­ter re­ceiv­ing a tip.

In June, Bei­jing po­lice de­tained screen­writer and nov­el­ist Chen Wan­ning, whose pen name is Ning Caishen, for pos­ses­sion and use of metham­phetamine in an apart­ment in Bei­jing.

That same month, direc­tor Zhang Yuan film was ar­rested for drug of­fenses at a Bei­jing rail­way sta­tion, af­ter he al­legedly tried to evade a ran­dom drug check.

A to­tal of nine entertainment in­dus­try peo­ple have been de­tained on drug charges, and most of them are celebri­ties.

The de­ten­tion list also in­cludes Li Daimo, who was ar­rested in March for tak­ing il­le­gal drugs in an apart­ment, and Hong Kong ac­tor Roy Che­ung, 51, who was ar­rested while smok­ing mar­i­juana in a Bei­jing ho­tel in July.

Qu Xiao, movie pro­ducer and founder of Bei­jing Qiyu Ji Cul­ture and Me­dia Com­pany, sees the pledge ini­ti­ated by the entertainment in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion and com­pa­nies as a se­ri­ous warn­ing to per­form­ers.

“The govern­ment is faith­ful to con­trol il­le­gal drug use and cor­rup­tion. Entertainment in­dus­try peo­ple are not ex­cluded from that mis­sion,” Qu says.

“Those who don’t be­lieve in the govern­ment’s de­ter­mi­na­tion and con­tinue with il­le­gal drug use will re­gret it sooner or later.”

WANG ZHENLONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Ac­tress Sun Qian signed a com­mit­ment to stay away from drugs at an anti-drug event on Wed­nes­day in Bei­jing.

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