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Literary, art workers get stricter oversight in law abiding, ethical issues

By CHEN NAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-08-31 08:04
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The Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a notice on Monday on further strengthening the education, management and morality of literary and art workers.

Literary and art workers should abide by laws and ethical standards and devote more energy to creating art works with high quality, according to the notice. Education on laws, such as the Copyright Law and Tax Law, and art ethics for artists and their companies should be strengthened. The notice also called for them to be more self-disciplined as public figures and set a good example for youngsters.

They should abide by professional ethics, seriously consider the social impact of their work, take the initiative to accept social supervision, and constantly strengthen their sense of social responsibility and awareness of the rules.

The notice points out some cases of celebrities' misconduct, such as tax evasion and excessively high payments in the film industry, that have violated laws and disturbed the industry's order.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism will further regulate the commercial behavior of performers. Artists involved in scandals will be banned from all public platforms and not be allowed to perform publicly.

It said that the country will establish professional systems to evaluate celebrities' performance as well as the contributions they make to society, and the commercial behavior of celebrities should be regulated.

"Many of the most worshipped celebrities are poor role models for young people. A celebrity should be a good role model by doing good things for our society since he or she always gets media exposure," commented one netizen on social media platform Sina Weibo.

"For a very long time, the entertainment industry has been chaotic, misguiding youngsters to blindly and irrationally worship idols. Hopefully this marks a good beginning for cleaning up the entertainment industry," commented another netizen.

The country has stepped up efforts to regulate the entertainment industry after some irregularities disturbed public order and had a negative social impact.

For example, according to the Shanghai Municipal Tax Service, the 30-year-old actress Zheng Shuang failed to declare 191 million yuan ($29.52 million) worth of personal income earned and evaded taxes worth 45.27 million yuan, with other tax arrears totaling 26.52 million yuan, over the past two years.

Her case has exposed the "yin and yang" contract situation in the film and television industry, which was mentioned in the notice as a negative example. A "yin and yang" contract refers to two documents made for the same agreement-the true document is kept between the two parties while the other, containing a lower declared salary, is presented to tax agencies to minimize taxation.

The China Association of Performing Arts has called for a boycott of Chinese actor Zhang Zhehan after photos of him taken at Tokyo's notorious Yasukuni Shrine, a symbol of Japan's past militarism, spread online, sparking outrage among netizens.

"Zhang's behavior was seriously inappropriate, and it not only hurt the nation's feelings, but also served as a bad influence on young fans," the association said in a notice issued on Aug 15.

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