After Kai Ko’s arrest and brief incarceration due to drug-related charges, plus two melodramatic press conferences, in which one was tear-filled, snot and all, like a scene from an idol drama, you’d think that his worst nightmares have finally reached its end. Unfortunately, his heartbreaking woes are far from being over.
Following the arrest of Kai and Jaycee Chan last August of this year, there had been a persistent rumor circulating online that celebrities who are involved with drugs and prostitution would be banned for an indefinite period in China. It was just a rumor then, that is, until last September 29 when an official document appeared online issued by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of The People’s Republic of China (SARFT) asking all levels of TV stations and film companies to ban actors, directors and screenwriters with records of misconducts, such as illegal drug use and involvement in prostitution. The notice has urged all film and television companies not to hire celebrities with such records as they would only serve as bad social influence among today’s youth. In addition, they are also banned from guesting in any television program nor from appearing in any form of advertisements. To make things simpler, China is going to “erase” the existence of these “condemned” celebrities from their turf for an indefinite period.
Aside from Kai and Jaycee, other famous celebrities who are included in the ban includes singer Li Daimo, directors Zhang Yuan and Wang Quanan, actors Gao Hu, Zhang Mo and Roy Cheung, and screenwriter Ning Caishen. Though this ban is a huge blow to these artists, the devastation can be said to be more severe on Kai Ko, who used to be a promising actor at his young age. He first experienced fame at the age 20 when his movie You Are The Apple of My Eye broke all box office records. The same movie also landed him a Golden Horse best new artist award. His participation in the Tiny Times series has sealed his fate as one of today’s brightest stars. His career became the envy, not only of the young stars, but also of the veteran artists as well. Nothing and no one could touch him. He was at the top of the world.
Three years into show business, Kai, who once held so much promise in his career, had finally fallen from grace. Now because of his ban from the China entertainment industry, all his movies are affected. All his scenes from Tiny Times 4 will be removed. His movie with Ariel Lin entitled A Choo will not be shown in China this October, although its premiere will still push through in Taiwan and HK. The press conference for his other movie Monster Hunt scheduled for today was cancelled. Its premiere is delayed indefinitely while its producers decide on their next course of action with regards to this film. All of his advertisements, a total of 20 of them, had pulled out from him, causing him to return the fee that these product companies had already paid him in advance. Some are even asking him to pay them back for the damages that his ruined image have caused them.
Only three years, from someone revered to someone disgraced, now forever shamed and tainted because of his bad choices. This incident would be like a shadow that would follow him for the rest of his life. While others have to wait for many years until they become old to experience their first taste of downfall, Kai didn’t even have to wait that long to experience his own downfall. Just like his fast rise to fame, his downfall also came just as fast, if not even faster. The sad part is that he’s the one who created the ravine to which he had fallen deep into. He relished in his fame, so much so that he rebelled against the norms. He might have even thought at some point that he was immortal, incapable of doing anything wrong, and can basically get away with just about everything. Arrogance could be sensed from his online posts and his personal interviews. That air of superiority in him is unmistakable, something that can only be expected from a foolish youth who had the world at his feet. After his arrest, he has since lost all his bravados. He even cried shamelessly during his press conference after his release from jail, like a two-year old kid whose candy has been taken away from him. He also hasn’t updated his online sites for quite some time now.
I hope Kai has learned his lessons well. He should realized by now how his one reckless and irresponsible action can affect a lot of people, not only his loved ones and his fans, but also all the people who had worked with him in all his movies. Just because of one person, the hard work of many people will now be totally ignored and disregarded.
His future in the entertainment industry now appears bleak. Since his ban in China is indefinite as of this moment, there is no assurance when he could get back (if ever he could get back) and have his second chance in show business. It’s going to be hard for him now to go back to living an ordinary life after experiencing the exhilarating joy of living in the fast lane of fame. No pauper who has experienced living like a king would like to go back to living a mundane life.
Another person who is also experiencing her own downfall alongside him is his manager Angie Chai, who was once known as the Queen of Idol Dramas, having produced many successful Taiwanese idol dramas in the past, including Meteor Garden, Why Why Love and Hi My Sweetheart. Just recently, she was charged with a criminal offense of bribing officials involved with Kai’s criminal case. Should she stepped on China soil, she would be immediately arrested and would be barred from leaving the country until she deals with the charges against her. Angie Chai had given up producing television idol dramas and had even let go a lot of artists under her care just so she could concentrate on managing Kai’s career. For someone like her who has been in the entertainment industry longer than anyone else, she should have known better than to put all her trust and faith in an inexperienced and reckless youth. She only saw the blinding glitter of fame with Kai. She failed to see the shadow behind him.
Two people mercilessly dealt by fate after basking and drowning in too much fame and all that glamour. A simple reminder that life is not all about roses and rainbows. The sun can’t always be shining as much as the rain can’t always be falling. It is not all the time that one can stay at the top, as much as no one can always stay at the bottom.