ne of China’s biggest, squeaky-clean stars, a role model to millions of kids, has been caught doing the unspeakable, smoking inside of a Beijing restaurant, causing the Chinese internet to explode.
Roy Wang (Wang Yuan 王源), one of the three members of the mega-popular boyband TFBoys, is seen in a video shot by a paparazzi and published on Tuesday by Sohu Entertainment taking a drag while sharing a meal with fellow teen idol Yang Chaoyue and actor Jia Nailiang. The three are the stars of a new Chinese reality show called “Haha Farmer” (哈哈农夫).
In no time, the footage and photos consumed Chinese social media with the hashtag “WangYuansmoking” now up to nearly 2 billion views on Weibo. Smoking has been strictly prohibited in public indoor areas in Beijing since 2015 with violators facing a fine of 200 yuan ($29) and public shaming.
Though Wang should be able to afford the fine, he has certainly received a healthy dose of shame. Soon after the footage went viral, the teen issued a public apology on his personal Weibo account, where he has almost 74 million followers, writing that he feels “sorry and ashamed” for setting a poor example and “negatively affecting society,” vowing that he will certainly “use this as a lesson to become a better adult.”
It’s not yet clear what the Beijing health department will do with Wang. However, the restaurant where the incident occurred, a Japanese place called Sushi Tong in Sanlitun, was soon paid by a visit by inspectors who discovered not a single “no smoking” sign on the walls. The restaurant has been ordered to clean up its act or face punishment.
[Images via Sohu Entertainment]