“Youth With You 3” (青春有你3) trainee, Tony Yu Jingtian (余景天), continues to face criticism and calls to withdraw from the competition after rumors were circulating his parents operated a KTV business selling drugs and sexual services. Since then, Tony’s mother has come out to clarify that they had already sold the business in 2008 and denied being involved in any of the activities circulating online. Tony’s father has also taken legal action against the perpetrators starting the rumors. However, netizens on Weibo have continued to call for Tony to withdraw from the competition and aren’t convinced about Tony’s parents’ innocence from the allegations.
With just 6 days left until the “Youth With You 3” live finale where Tony is a hot favorite to debut as the center position, his nationality has become a hot topic on Weibo. Tony was trending at number 1 with the hashtag, “Yu Jingtian nationality”, on May 2 when netizens dug up clips from when he joined the Korean idol survival show, “Produce X 101”, where he stated, “I am from Canada, but both my parents are from China.” On “Youth With You 3”, Tony had once said he was proud to represent Chinese people, which netizens have used to attack him for saying different things. Tony’s mother had stated in her statement from April 30 that she and her husband brought Tony and his older brother to immigrate to Vancouver, Canada in 2008.
As the discussions continued on about Tony’s nationality, it spiraled further to Tony having dual citizenship, which China doesn’t recognize. So the narrative transitioned from Tony being Canadian to him violating the law for having dual citizenship, which hasn’t been proven. Comments calling for Tony to withdraw from the competition continue to grow on Weibo as they said this has become a societal issue.
During the “Youth With You 3” fan meeting on May 1, Tony was in tears when he thanked his fans. He said, “When I encounter difficulties, I look to the back and discover I still have you guys. I think however hard it is, I can still get through it. I hope we can maintain our original intentions together. Work hard, jia you!”
Credit: Weibo (1)