Netizens woke up today to news that Chinese pianist Li Yundi was arrested on suspicion of prostitution last night. According to a statement from the Beijing Chaoyang Police, the 39-year-old Call Me by Fire contestant was apprehended following reports that someone solicited a 29-year-old prostitute in Beijing’s Chaoyang district. Both offenders are now detained after confessing to the crime following police investigation.
It was previously rumoured that “Piano Prince Prostitution” was one of the things confessed by Kris Wu when he was arrested earlier in the year. But whether that’s true or not, we don’t really know. However there are also murmurings that claim Li Yundi had already been arrested once for soliciting sex services a few months ago … it’s just that news of his arrest didn’t quite make it to the headlines. So while the previous rumours might’ve just been plain gossip, there’s nothing hearsay about last night’s arrest since it was already confirmed by the Beijing Police’s announcement.
Call Me by Fire Cuts Him Out
First, it was just singer Huo Zun whose scenes on the survival show had to be cropped out after his cheating scandal erupted. I guess we can now add Li Yundi to the list since the show’s producers had to immediately take down 7 episodes following the news about him. The newest episode for the show was uploaded in time but all of Li Yundi’s scenes are gone. There’s even a hashtag of this floating around called #CallMeByFirePostProductionGraduallyBecameViolent# since Call Me by Fire editors seem to have hastily pixelised or blurred out his face!
Relevant content featuring the pianist was also scrubbed from the show’s official website.
Now it wasn’t just the team at Call Me by Fire who took action. The China Association of Performing Arts also put him on notice with a formal reprimand about his illegal activities. In its note, the organization stressed the importance of self-discipline and said his disregard for the law and social morality as a public figure is simply not acceptable. They also urged him to strengthen his self-awareness and to abide by the law. His membership with the Chinese Musicians’ Association has also been cancelled.
Weirdly enough, this controversy seems to have also resurrected old rumours about him and Wang Leehom dating on account of the two of them being such close friends. And although Wang Leehom had long debunked that speculation (aside from being married and having three kids with his wife), Netizens joked that Li Yundi’s arrest for soliciting a female prostitute finally puts to bed that particular rumour.