As Xiao Zhan recovers from the AO3 controversy and finally stepped into the public eye in an interview, his fans have shown him an outpour of support. On May 9, Xiao Zhan took the stage after his months long hiatus to perform for a special show for International Nurses Day on Beijing TV where he performed a song as tribute to medical personnel.
However, it seems that another issue has cropped up quickly to invite much criticism. On May 10, the internet broke with some clips of teachers who have gathered their students in support of Xiao Zhan. In the video, the elementary school kids can be heard yelling: “Xiao Zhan gege (older brother) you’re great, we like, charge!” Another clip had a teacher asking the students, “Xiao Zhan is my what?” The Kids yell, “boyfriend!”
That same night, Xiao Zhan made his stance clear at the first instance when he took to Weibo to say, “Please listen to me carefully one more time! I hope that everyone can put their school, work and lives before chasing after celebrities. Study well, work hard, Do your best to fulfill your responsibilities and obligations, abide by professional standards and industry boundaries. I don’t need your yingyuan.” Yingyuan (应援) is an internet slang for the different ways fans can support their idols. Some examples where fans engage in fan support can be when they give their idols gifts or fan clubs that organize major events such as pooling money to supply their idol’s entire filming crew with food and goodies.
On May 13, China’s official newspaper People’s Daily wrote a piece to condemn the incident of a grade school teacher who arranged for the class to dance in support of a celebrity. It stated that the school is a place for teaching and not a factory for fans to support their idols. Children’s education affects the country’s future and should not be used as a tool to support their idol. The education bureau has met with the principal and the teacher has already been suspended.
The same night, Xiao Zhan echoed the sentiments when he shared the Weibo post from People’s Daily including part of its caption that said, “Professional boundaries cannot be broken, the circle of reason cannot be broken, fandoms cannot encapsulate everything.”