Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Stop drug abuse, set good example

By Wu Yixue (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-15 07:40

With police catching one celebrity after another for drug abuse, the question uppermost in the public mind is: What's wrong with the haloed characters of the entertainment industry?

On Tuesday, Beijing police said actor Gao Hu was detained on Aug 4 for the possession and use of marijuana and methamphetamine. The latest celebrity involved in drug abuse in recent months, Gao was caught with another actor and two more people in Beijing's Chaoyang district with about 7 grams of marijuana and 1 gram of methamphetamine.

Gao, 40, born in Qingdao, Shandong province, has confessed that he had been smoking marijuana and also tested positive for drug after being detained. He has acted in some well-known movies, including director Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War in 2011 and Flying Swords of Dragon Gate in 2013. Gao left a deep impression on TV viewers with his vivid portrayal of the simple and honest character of Xu Zhu, one of the main male figures in the 2003 version of Tianlongbabu (or Semi-Gods and Semi-Devils), and has quite a fan following.

Gao's detention came only days after actor Zhang Mo, son of popular actor Zhang Guoli, was caught smoking marijuana in his villa. Zhang Mo had been detained for 13 days in 2012 for the same offense, following which his father and director Feng Xiaogang issued a public apology, and requested the people and authorities to give the "lost young man" a chance to mend his ways and lead "a new life".

On June 24, police caught scriptwriter, novelist and TV host Ning Caishen in Beijing for taking methamphetamine. The 39-year-old confessed that he had been taking drugs since December 2013 and used his weibo account to issue a public apology and promise never to touch narcotics again. Many celebrities, including actress Yao Chen, reposted Ning's apology online, expressing their support for him.

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