Chinese news portals have been abuzz lately with the news that a male prostitute has claimed on his blog to have had sex with Chinese film director Jia Zhangke (贾樟柯) who is currently attending the Cannes Film Festival. And Shanghaiist knows once something is claimed on a blog, it is absolutely true.
The prostitute reportedly claimed that Jia saw him showering at a sauna and promptly had the pimp call him for paid sexual services. He also claimed that he hadn’t known the identity of his client till he saw Jia on a Shanghai Television channel one day. At the end of the post, the prostitute said, “I guess the only proof of what I’m saying is whether you did indeed come to Suzhou between 7 March and 1 April”. Yes, that would definitely prove that Jia paid for sex with male prostitute he saw in a shower.
All attempts by Shanghaiist to find the blog of the above-said prostitute failed, but Chinese readers interested in the more sordid details of the entry will find the story here.
To add fire to the flame, another netizen has posted this on his blog:
Jia Zhangke is not even 160cm tall and girls don’t find him attractive. In school, he fell in love with a female classmate, but suffered a major blow when he was rejected. Hence there was a change in his sexual orientation and he began having sexual relations with men after arriving in Beijing… I know a gay guy studying at the Beijing Film Academy who said that Jia Zhangke had offered to introduce him to directors in exchange for sexual favours. Eventually, he was totally uncontactable by phone or otherwise, and his promises were burst like bubbles… To hide his own identity (as a gay man), Jia has chosen to work frequently with female actress Zhao Tao who comes from his province, to give the outside world the impression that they are a couple… [Translation by Shanghaiist]
Meanwhile, Jia Zhangke’s assistant Dai Yingying, has expressed surprise at the news and dismissed it all as “utter rubbish”. This whole case somehow reminds us of the Rev. Ted Haggard scandal, though we doubt that Jia would have anything to worry about his livelihood as a filmmaker.
But, really, who cares? We always assumed most male movie directors (the good ones, at least) had boy toys on the side. No?
Jia Zhangke was the 2006 winner of the Golden Lion award for his movie, Still Life (三峡好人) and has garnered international praise for his films Platform (站台), Unknown Pleasures (任逍遙), and The World, despite their limited theatrical runs throughout the world and his obscurity in China.
Image of Jia Zhangke at the 63rd Venice Film Festival from china.org.cn.