Jackson Yee Stirs Controversy for Taking Up Government Job

Above: The little fresh meat actor had won awards for his performance in the film “Better Days“.

21-year-old Chinese actor and TFBoys member Jackson Yee (易烊千璽), who escalated to fame with the film Better Days <少年的你>, has generated online controversy following his decision to take up a job with the government-sponsored National Theater of China – as netizens felt he was competing with the average salaryman for a livelihood.

Dissolves His Company to Meet Criteria?

Hu Xianhu (left) and Luo Yizhou (right).

On 6 July, the National Theater of China released a notice which stated it has provisionally accepted Yee, along with Luo Yizhou (羅一舟) and Hu Xianhu (胡先煦) as actors.

Evoking debate was the fact that all three celebrities had already signed on with management companies and took on acting jobs before graduating, which defied entry regulations. Hu Xianhu left his former company Enlight Media on January 12 this year after his contract ended and Jackson had applied to dissolve his own filmmaking company on July 4 this year.

Inside sources revealed that three rounds of interviews following written tests were requirements for entry, but Jackson was apparently accepted after going for just one interview. With doubts cast over his hukou eligibility as well, the matter became a trending topic on social media platform Weibo, centering on the fairness of the exams and whether the three had special rights due to their celebrity status.

Bread-and-butter Issues Stir Up Sentiments
Given that Jackson Yee is one of the top actors in China, Hu Xianhu was a child actor and was filming before graduation, and Luo Yizhou is the captain of boy group IXFORM, it was clear that the three had attained fame and were earning much higher incomes than the average citizen.

With the economic climate in recent years making it harder to secure employment, netizens expressed discontent about the three celebrities taking up positions with the government-sponsored theater which came with social security and benefits — even though the three do not usually perform at the National Theater of China. On the other hand, some expressed support as they felt that since many veteran actors from the National Theater would also take part in television dramas and films, it did not matter as long as the stars had been accepted based on merit.

As the matter continued to escalate, representatives of the National Theater of China responded on July 8, stating that the name lists were a publicity notice and that those listed had yet to be officially accepted, adding that the strong responses it has evoked would be shared with the authorities.

One of China’s most popular young actors, Yee was the first post-2000 celebrity to rake in more than RMB10 billion at the box office and has twice topped Forbes China Celebrity List in 2020 and 2021. In 2018, he was admitted into the Central Academy of Drama’s department of acting after emerging first in arts entry examinations.

Source: HK01

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  1. i am a fan of Jackson Yee…very talented and level headed young man… I am sure he will have a bright future.

  2. The issue can be seen as controversy and I feel we don’t have enough information to make educated decision if this is wrong or right. In the end he is an actor and has right to apply. I am sure there is more to that story he is not chasing monthly salary for sure.

    But Jayne calling him ‘little fresh meat’ is disrespectful. Out of all young actors he is not ‘little fresh meat’ and unlike the other idol actors he really can act. His role in ‘The Longest day in Chang’An’ when he was only 18 is so well done. It is rare that actor of that age can cary such a role. He has bright future but need more education to sharpen his talents. I hope he follows Hu Ge path and takes time off for year or two and go to the best acting school there is to improve his trade, and try different teaching techniques.

  3. In some ways, I feel like Jackson Yee not needing to go through all those rounds of interviews make sense. He has a long resume of films, tv series, and acting awards. It’s out there for all to see. Most people wouldn’t have that to showcase prior to applying and need multiple interviews to properly vet that they qualify. Luo Yizhou isn’t the captain of IXFORM. Liu Jun is the leader and Luo Yizhou is the center. IXFORM basically has no work because of the milk scandal when Youth With You 3 was still airing. He probably still makes decent money with his endorsements and solo work, but lets be honest, newcomers probably get a very small cut from stingy management companies. Lastly, do we even know they’re definitely accepting the money from the government? I highly doubt any of these kids did it to receive a steady income from the government.

  4. I’ve never read a more stupid complaint. Average salary man? Does public bother with national theatre or theatre of any kind? They bring fans, publicity whilst developing their own acting prowess. Ordinary actors on stage gets a boost of publicity whilst these young actors get to challenge themselves and theatre get a boost. It a win win win situation. Do these complainers ever use their brains to think? And jackson probably taking a big salary cut for this.

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