Anita Yuen (袁詠儀) and Chilam Cheung’s (張智霖) popularity are extremely high in China thanks to their lively appearances in reality shows. The couple’s animated interactions are usually highlights in the variety shows they appear, which likely prompt producers to drum up romantic scenarios to stretch ratings further. When the couple held yet another “wedding” in music competition the second season of Call Me by Fire <披荊斬棘2>, they received backlash for exploiting their marriage for publicity.
During one of Chilam’s stage performances, Anita walked down the aisle in a wedding gown. The couple shed tears and declared their deepfelt feelings for each other.
Some viewers called it a cheap shot against competitor, Richie Ren (任賢齊), who lost to Chilam’s wedding ceremony performance. Alex Su (蘇有朋) also passively aggressively said that someone was trying to win the music competition by selling the idea of family and warmth.
Besides the criticism directed towards Chilam, the incident also resonate negatively with Anita’s fans. The actress’ only fan club, “Always Anita,” suddenly announced that they will cease operations indefinitely, ending its 24-year run. Many netizens speculated that her fans were fed up with her constant double standards. Instead of interacting and siding with her own fans, Anita often interacts with Chilam’s fans and would scold fans from her own fan club.
Some noticed that this is not the first time when Chilam and Anita played the love card on stage. The couple had a similar “re-wedding” in 2019 during reality show, Viva La Romance 2 <妻子的浪漫旅行2>. Since the show was centered on marital relationships, viewers felt it was suitable. However, they did not find it fair for Chilam to use the same tactic in a music competition such as Call Me By Fire. Netizens lashed out at Chilam and Anita’s authencity, and called them the “one wedding per show” couple.
Anita was puzzled by the abrupt closure of her fan club in China. What she may not realize is the power of fans’ and online sentiment–negative public image could eventually chase Anita out of the Mainland market and cost her future opportunities. For example, when Myolie Wu’s (胡杏兒) actions in Sisters Who Make Waves 3 <乘風破浪3> were perceived to be selfish, she was voted off the competition.
This article is written by Su for JayneStars.com.