One of China’s Biggest Stars, Kris Wu, Faces a #MeToo Storm

Several main luxurious manufacturers have severed ties with Kris Wu, a Chinese Canadian singer with a big following, after an 18-year-old accused him of focusing on and pressuring her and different younger girls for intercourse.

The accusations, which Mr. Wu denied in a number of statements, have triggered widespread public outrage and thrown his profession into tumult. At least 11 corporations together with Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Porsche and L’Oréal suspended or terminated contracts with Mr. Wu this week, after his accuser spoke out throughout an interview with an internet Chinese information outlet on Sunday.

Mr. Wu, 30, rose to fame as a member of the Ok-pop band EXO earlier than embarking on a solo profession as a mannequin, actor and singer, drawing greater than 50 million followers on-line in addition to profitable endorsement offers. Known in China as Wu Yifan, he’s one of the nation’s hottest celebrities to face #MeToo accusations.

Mr. Wu’s accuser is Du Meizhu, a college pupil in Beijing who stated she first met him when she was 17. She stated she had been invited to Mr. Wu’s residence by his agent with the suggestion that he might assist her performing profession, in line with her social media posts and the interview with Netease, an internet portal. Once there, she was pressured to drink cocktails till she misplaced consciousness, she stated, and later discovered herself in his mattress.

Ms. Du stated she believed that this was a tactic he used to attract different younger girls. She accused Mr. Wu of concerning girls as if they had been all concubines in a harem. “You look at a lot of pictures of girls at drinking parties and select them like merchandise,” she wrote in a single social media put up, addressing him straight.

Mr. Wu has denied the accusations, by his lawyer, Zhai Jiayu, and public statements. On Monday, Mr. Wu stated that he had solely met Ms. Du as soon as in December of final 12 months.

“I declare that there has never been any ‘selecting a concubine’!” he wrote on the social media platform Weibo, referring to Ms. Du’s harem remark. He denied having ever seduced, drugged or raped anybody. “If there was such behavior, please don’t worry, I will go to jail by myself!”

His lawyer has vowed to file a lawsuit towards Ms. Du and report her to the police for defamation. Ms. Du has additionally stated that she reported her accusations to the police.

Ms. Du and Mr. Wu didn’t reply to emailed requests to remark.

Ms. Du’s account has been met with an outpouring of help, a signal of the rising energy of the nation’s small Me Too motion. One of her posts on Weibo has been appreciated by greater than 10 million customers. Hashtags akin to #girlshelpgirls and others calling for Mr. Wu to stop present enterprise have been seen by hundreds of thousands.

Ms. Du’s supporters flooded the social media pages of a number of manufacturers with threats of boycotts if they didn’t terminate their endorsement offers with Mr. Wu. One by one, the manufacturers moved to distance themselves from him.

“This incident shows that nowadays people will no longer swallow insults and humiliation and be afraid of slut shaming,” stated Feng Yuan, a feminist scholar and activist. “People increasingly want to speak up and make themselves heard.”

#MeToo activism might be difficult in China, the place the ruling Communist Party imposes strict constraints on dissent and public debate. Some girls who’ve come ahead with accounts of abuse have confronted a public and authorized backlash. The authorities usually discourage girls from reporting rape and different intercourse crimes.

Mr. Wu strolling the runway throughout a Louis Vuitton present in Shanghai final 12 months. Several main luxurious manufacturers suspended or terminated contracts with him this week.Credit…Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

It was unclear how the authorities had been planning to reply to the allegations towards Mr. Wu, however no less than three teams affiliated with the federal government put out statements calling for an investigation.

“Everyone is equal before the law, and celebrities with huge followings are no exception,” China Women’s News, the newspaper of a state-run girls’s group, wrote on its social media web page. “Believe that the law will not wrong a good person, nor will it let a wicked one go.”

Ms. Du’s first began talking out on July eight, when she launched screenshots of conversations between her and Mr. Wu, in addition to individuals she stated labored for him. She accused them of engaging younger girls by dangling alternatives in present enterprise.

In one screenshot, dated July of final 12 months, a particular person reaching out to Ms. Du on Weibo requested her if she could be fascinated by working within the film business. The particular person then added her contact on WeChat, a chat app, and requested if she had simply accomplished her faculty entrance examination, saying that he labored for Mr. Wu’s studio they usually had been searching for new expertise.

Ms. Du stated she felt helpless when she discovered that Mr. Wu particularly focused younger girls like her. “Indeed, we are all softhearted when we see your innocent expression, but that does not mean that we want to become playthings whom you can deceive!” she wrote in a put up on Weibo.

She stated quickly after that, one other affiliate of Mr. Wu’s contacted her on WeChat to supply what she thought of hush cash to take down the put up. When she demanded a public apology from Mr. Wu, the affiliate stated they had been contemplating authorized motion towards her, in line with screenshots of the chat she posted on-line. She stated that 500,000 yuan, or almost $80,000, was later transferred to her checking account, although she had not given her consent.

A retailer displaying an commercial that includes Mr. Wu. His accuser, Du Meizhu, has been a goal of cyberbullying since going public.Credit…Tingshu Wang/Reuters

In the Netease interview on Sunday, Ms. Du stated that she had began to return the cash in batches and that she was gearing up for a authorized combat.

In detailing her first encounter with Mr. Wu, Ms. Du stated that she had been advised that she could be going to debate potential jobs. She stated that she tried to depart, however that his workers took away her cellphone and warned that if Mr. Wu didn’t have a good time, it could possibly be detrimental to her future as an actor.

Pressured into consuming closely, she stated, she ended up sleeping with Mr. Wu. They dated till March, in line with her account of the occasions, when he stopped responding to her calls and messages.

Since then, she stated, she had heard from seven different girls who had been equally handled. She stated she needed to combat for his or her pursuits as nicely. She didn’t determine the opposite individuals, and the accusations couldn’t be instantly corroborated.

Since going public, Ms. Du stated she has been a goal of cyberbullying and loss of life threats, and that she had been recognized with despair. Mr. Wu’s worldwide fan membership stated in a put up on Weibo: “It’s a pity to see a groundless internet drama turn into an evil carnival that violates the truth and laws.”

But a number of different individuals on social media this week posted messages of help, together with screenshots of chats that they stated indicated Mr. Wu or his workers inappropriately focused younger girls.

“Girls, please protect yourself,” Zhang Dansan, a former member of a lady band, wrote on Weibo on Monday, after sharing screenshots of conversations that she stated confirmed how Mr. Wu had requested her if she was a virgin. “I want to be loved too, but don’t be fooled.”