CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Some great actors are said to have the ability to disappear into their role. But in China, an actress has disappeared from the internet. Imagine one of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, erased from the internet, in a single night. That’s basically what happened to Zhao Wei. Her movies, television shows and social media platforms have vanished from the internet.
China experts say the canceling of Zhao Wei is part of a much bigger crackdown now underway in China. Jennifer Hsu is a research fellow in the Public Opinion & Foreign Policy Program Lowy Institute. She says, “To imagine that someone’s name, history is eliminated from the internet, it shows the power and the infrastructure of China’s internet architecture and who really is in power, it is the Chinese party state.”
There is no direct reason given for why she was banned from the internet, but it comes two weeks after actor Zhang Zhehan, who was signed to Zhao’s company, was also banned. He posted on social media at Japan’s notorious Yasukuni Shrine, sparking wide outrage.
While we don’t condone China’s censorship, our question of the night is this: if you could ban one celebrity from the internet, who would it be?
This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB TV’s Zach Aldridge
WCCB TV’s James Scott