China Central Television Chided Zhao Lusi and Wang Yibo as Hopeless Illiterate Young Actors

Zhao Lusi and Wang Yibo

There's a controversial article published by China Central Television, a state-owned network, calling some Chinese drama stars "hopeless illiterate young actors" in the Chinese entertainment industry according to a piece from Koalas Ground.

China Central Television (CCTV)'s official website lambasted "hopeless illiterate young actors" in the [entertainment] industry for playing the role they did not have knowledge.

Wang Yibo in Hidden Blade

The article included links to Wang Yibo's interview and Zhao Lusi's promotion of Hutong so netizens suspected Wang Yibo and Zhao Lusi are the actors criticized by the state-run network as hopeless illiterate young actors.

The controversial article comes after Wang Yibo appeared "clueless" when asked what he learned after appearing in the movie Hidden Blade.

Hidden Blade follows the story of underground workers who risked their lives to send intelligence and defend the motherland during World War II. 

It is considered a patriotic movie so critics and authorities in China expected a lot from Wang Yibo's opinion in portraying such an important role.

But he reportedly just puffed a breath after being asked what he learned after portraying the role of Mr. Ye and said he did not know how to answer the question.

Zhao Lusi was dragged into the controversy as another star chided by CCTV's official website of hopeless illiterate young actors after Zhao Lusi made a mistake identifying an era during the promotion of her drama, "Hutong".

During the promo period of Hutong, Zhao Lusi mistakenly identified the era of forming the Communist Party in China (1949) with the era of World War II (1939-1945).

Mistakes like these are critical in the Chinese government as they expected Chinese celebrities to be role models of patriotism and nationalism and expected to be knowledgeable about their culture, history, and national identity.

Criticism of Traffic or Liu Liang stars

It must be recalled that some veterans in Chinese entertainment chided the Chinese celebrities known as traffic stars or liu liang stars (celebrities with large fan bases and whose marketing strategies and branding image are based on internet data) as having "no substance" compared to traditional stars (stars whose popularity is based on literary and acting achievements and recognition and not based on large fan bases).

Traffic stars or liu liang stars referred to Chinese celebrities whose popularity is based on internet traffic data and not based on acting awards or literary achievements.

The use of what the Chinese call “traffic stars”—music and film celebrities who create enormous consumer traffic online—in marketing campaigns, began in 2015 when Chinese media used it to describe the popularity of Li Yifeng, Yang Yang, Kris Wu, and Lu Han. 

The term was then used to describe the popularity of Xiao Zhan, Wang Yibo, Dilraba Dilmurat, Yang Mi, Yang Zi, Zhao Liying, and Angelababy, whose image brandings were based on traffic data and not based on their acting skills. 

Read more about Chinese Traffic Stars

Veteran actor Chen Daoming in 2021, lambasted traffic stars as hyped and affected the integrity and honor of outstanding creators, adding that these traffic stars ruined the essence and spirit of the Chinese entertainment industry.

Chen Daoming's statement attracted mixed reactions from Chinese netizens.

Going back to Wang Yibo and Zhao Lusi's criticism. Perhaps, next time they need to do research about the drama they are doing and the roles they are portraying to avoid messing up in the interview.

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