Thanks to his gaokao (university entrance exam) scandal that angered so many, singer-actor Tong Zhuo has pretty much been persona non grata in the entertainment industry. So much so that the producers of the medical drama Healer of Children had to have his face swapped out with a different actor’s using AI just to ensure it wouldn’t be pulled off the air. Tong Zhuo originally played the role of Lei Hao in Healer of Children which started airing this week, but after the huge public outcry following his scandal, was eventually replaced by actor Li Huan.
In the old days, celebs involved in high profile scandals were either written out of the show or had their scenes reshot with their replacements. Nowadays, expensive reshoots can now be a thing of the past using face swapping AI deepfake technology, and the change isn’t too obvious too!
Have a look at the photo he shared yesterday of himself wearing his doctor’s coat. Tong Zhuo also captioned his post writing “in 2018, I spent three months filming this drama out of friendship. Although I didn’t receive any pay, I was very worried the drama will encounter difficulties being aired because of me. Fortunately, the show finally ended up being broadcasted. Deeply grateful for the show’s support. I wish you all a great weekend and always smile.”
In Asia, prepping for and passing gaokao with flying colours is a very serious thing. Not only do great scores mean getting into a good university, it also impacts your future career and marriage prospects and even your social standing.
Earlier this year, Tong Zhuo offhandedly mentioned he had falsified his graduation date using his family connections because he failed the gaokao. The news that he attempted to retake the test by making it appear he was a fresh graduate on paper so he could still get into top schools obviously didn’t sit well, leading to many of the public crying foul in outrage.