The Student News Site of Los Osos High School

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Sing! China’s Controversy

Photo Credit: IMDb

Not everything is always as it seems in the entertainment world. Producers make shows look fair and unbiased, but things underneath the surface might not be so clean.

Recently, a recording surfaced that revealed the voice of late pop star Coco Lee

Lee was an influential ChineseAmerican singer and actress and was a part of the show “Sing! China” as a judge/mentor. In the audio clip that was released, Lee accused the show of unfairly eliminating her mentee, who received a higher score than other contestants who advanced to the next round.

She also accused the production team of intentionally causing her to fall on her final performance when her leg was injured. She didn’t use crutches or a wheelchair, but she requested that guest artist Wang Zepeng stand by her side to support her. However, the show did not comply, and Lee fell during her performance. 

“I have been a singer for 28 years, but I was humiliated on stage. I was bullied,” the voice on the audio clip said, accusing the show of being unfair and dishonest.

After the audio clip was released, controversy exploded around the world, especially in China. Many other Chinese celebrities support Lee and hope for justice. 

Previous contestant Li Jiajie accused the show of participating in corrupt practices such as position buying, enforcing extensive binding contracts, and even disregarding rules and respect toward contestants.

The next morning, Jiajie’s posts were removed and he apologized, saying that his comments were not based on facts and asked netizens to discourage spreading misinformation.

If anything, the sudden disappearance of his comments and immediate apology only convinced people that there really was something questionable going on with the show.

The show responded to the controversy by claiming that the videos were “maliciously edited”.

The statements did little to pacify the world’s anger, and eventually, the show was suspended, as sponsors were flooded with comments urging them to withdraw their investments in the show.

On July 2, 2023, Lee attempted to commit suicide at the age of 48 but later died on July 5, 2023, after being in a coma. Lee reportedly was dealing with numerous health issues and was also struggling with depression. She joined the show as a judge while secretly fighting breast cancer.

Perhaps her declining mental and physical health is what prompted her to commit suicide, or perhaps this incident fueled her death.

Before the audio clip was released, the show “Sing! China” was China’s representation of equal opportunity and success based on only merit, it inspired viewers. The audio clip showed viewers just how unfair the show might be and how complicated and corrupt it is underneath. 

What used to be an image of fairness and success became the representation of corruption and bribery. 

The fact that even someone as influential as Lee was subject to such unfair treatment made citizens feel more “powerless in the face of power”. People who used to have dreams of being celebrities by this show had to stop and consider their dreams, and if it was worth the suffering.

Donate to The Grizzly Gazette

Your donation will support the student journalists of Los Osos High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The Grizzly Gazette