Panda Boys, China’s latest boy band, debuted on August 21 with their initially song and music video, a pastel-laden synth pop amount with a rap and Chinese opera interlude. But just a few times afterwards, the team disbanded, following outcry on social media around their youthful age and problems of exploitation.
The seven members, dubbed the “cubs” in marketing resources by their talent agency, variety from 7 to 11 years old. Photographs on their official social media account demonstrate the child-faced boys with make-up and thoroughly mussed hair, decked out in miniature blazers and street-model joggers.
The Panda Boys “have formally embarked on a new journey,” posted Asia Starry Sky Team, the band’s administration agency, on Chinese social media system Weibo on Saturday immediately after the band debuted. It extra that the youngsters had expended their summer months trip “with sweat and tears” to “stand on the stage of dreams.”
But their debut swiftly drew criticism and shock from social media end users, who pointed to the small children as a sign of China’s intensive “idol” field going too far.
The idol market, also viewed in Japan and South Korea, recruits pop star hopefuls generally at a younger age, placing them via months of powerful coaching. The trainees generally enter talent exhibit-style competitions just before creating a grand debut, with a number of rounds of voting and performances. Occasionally, hundreds of trainees facial area off, hoping to gain enough votes to secure a location in the closing lineup of a band.
Trainees are also predicted to adhere to strictly controlled existence and meal plans, and make frequent media appearances. It is a grueling method that has now appear below scrutiny in new years for the pressure positioned on teenage and adult trainees — enable by itself kids below 10.
“If the little ones are college aged, they really should go to faculty. Enable them make their personal decisions when they have the proper to decide on,” a single Weibo person commented.
“Does this advise that the future boy team that debuts has to involve young children in a nursery?” one more person wrote, in accordance to condition-operate tabloid World Periods.
Numerous other reviews criticized the boys’ dad and mom and professionals within the company, accusing the adults involved of exploiting small children for economic acquire.
The administration company responded on Tuesday by saying a rebrand: even though the band’s English name would keep on being Panda Boys, their Chinese title would alter to turn out to be “Panda Children’s Artwork Troupe.” There was “no money (get),” the company insisted: “We are performing anything meaningful with a group of kids who like singing and dancing.”
But strain ongoing building as state-run media chimed in.
“At the same time, it will also go on the erroneous price of ‘early fame’ to the culture, deceptive youthful men and women,” explained CCTV, calling for greater regulation to “end the unhealthy tendencies and evil influences of employing idol economy to accumulate revenue without the need of a base line.”
A day later on, Asia Starry Sky Group announced that it would dissolve the Panda Boys.
“We will severely and adequately manage the abide by-up do the job,” it mentioned in a quick assertion. “Thanks for the supervision and criticism from culture and on-line.”
Just after releasing the statement, the agency’s Weibo account was suspended for violating of the platform’s policy, nevertheless it really is not obvious which coverage is in question.