Boycotted since accusations of being pro-Japanese surfaced in August 2021, Word of Honor <山河令> actor Zhang Zhehan (張哲瀚) was shut down by China’s unforgiving cancel culture. Although his social media on Chinese platforms were blocked and his dramas and songs removed from streaming platforms, the 30-year-old has attempted several times to clear his own name.
No Longer in Contact With Gong Jun
On April 21, Zhehan posted a hand-written letter thanking the family and friends who believed and supported him throughout the ordeal. He also thanked genuine fans of Word of Honor, but drew the line against rabid couple (CP) fans who shipped him with Gong Jun (龔俊). Zhehan stated that they have not be in contact since June 2021.
However, Zhehan remains perplexed as to why Gong Jun’s endorsements continue to implicate him in one way or another. “I can’t understand and I can’t intervene,” Zhehan said. When one of Gong Jun’s brands collected messages for Mother’s Day, many CP fans continued to mention Zhehan in the comments.
It is speculated that the actions of some CP fans may have intruded and disrespected Zhehan’s mother, which angered the actor and motivated him to make recent statements on social media drawing the line with his former co-star.
Although Zhehan’s handwritten letter initially went viral on Weibo in April, it soon disappeared as the actor remains blocked by the platform. Last week, he uploaded the letter on Instagram. When authencity concerns surfaced, Zhehan shared a video of himself as a follow-up on May 4.
While stating his integrity in the video, he called out malicious parties for “spending lots of money to create rumors about the political standing of a patriotic citizen, editing Baidu pages, working with social influencers, and using large amounts of water armies to influence the media.”
Although his reputation and acting career was destroyed, Zhehan said he is “now standing back up.” He added, “I’m still me. I haven’t changed. I tried my best and gave my all in all phases of my life.”
Since being blocked by Chinese social media platforms since last year, Zhehan has been selling tea on the Internet. He got involved in the venture through his mother, and sales is allegedly phenomenal. In addition, Zhehan founded his personal brand to sell hats and necklaces. He also learned to play the guitar and hopes in the near future, he can write more songs and share with his supporters.
Filed Police Report
Last December, Zhehan was said to have filed a police report for defamation with the support of Li Xuezheng (李學政), a notable television industry official and director of the Golden Shield Film and Television Center. Striving to restore Zhehan’s reputation, Xuezheng presented his case to the Chaoyang branch of the Beijing police. He also wrote that the Japanese shrine incident was blown out of proportion at the time, which even local police could not interfere because of the extreme cyber violence and unyielding public opinion.
As a result, Zhehan suffered immense pain and grievances all these months. Eventually, he reached out to legal experts for help, in which they believe the matter was a typical malicious act of defamation with elements to constitute as a criminal case.
Although it has been nearly half a year since the case was filed, there was allegedly little progress. The actor has attempted several times to resurrect on Chinese social media by registering under different names and posting about the incident, but was subsequently blocked. It is a shame that Zhehan lost his career overnight, but hopefully he can make a comeback in the near future again.
This article is written by Minna and Jayne for JayneStars.com.