6 Cancel Culture – 塌房 (tā fáng)


simplified Chinese: 塌房; pinyin: tā fáng

Cancel Culture

塌房, tā fáng, can be understood as canceled or similar to cancel culture. This term originated on platforms such as Douban in the first half of 2019. It started as the term accompanying an article that spread in fan circles or fandoms. Later, this term gained popularity on the rest of the Chinese internet. Tā fáng’s direct translation is “collapse house.” It is a metaphor often used in the Chinese entertainment industry and fandom to describe something that is liked, especially idols, getting involved in negative publicity. This usually happens without warning, significantly damaging the celebrity’s image and losing fans. Negative publicity can include the exposure of a celebrity’s indecent acts, or the most common situation is relationship news headlines. This can consist of being exposed to starting or being in a relationship. This is negative in the Chinese entertainment industry, especially for young, new, and upcoming artists and idols, as these celebrities’ common default image is built on the image of being clean, fresh-faced, and single. Because tā fang can happen almost every week in the industry, or at least there is new “tea” and gossip to follow, many fans of various fandoms have become worried about the “tea” being spilled on their idols. Due to the significance idols serve to fans, including psychology and spiritual support and shelter, when a new celebrity, influencer, or idol tā fáng, the term also encompasses the emptiness and sadness of the fans who have lost their support, psychological and spiritual. Fandoms also have a saying, “tā fang personality,” meaning a fan who faces or attracts the fandoms that all get canceled. This is someone who, no matter who they support, will eventually face the collapse of the celebrity due to negative publicity.

In recent years, major tā fang incidents include Kris Wu, former K-pop idol from the group EXO, who gained popularity and traction in Mainland China through rap competition variety shows as a judge. This was a significant case as it eventually involved the police, and Kris Wu was arrested on charges including rape. As it involved international influence, the case was tried twice, and the verdict was made public in 2023. Since then, Kris Wu has used a warning for all celebrities, influencers, and idols. All his works or works he was involved in have become obsolete on the Chinese internet without a trace left behind. Another case happened in November when news headlines of actors from the recent popular movie Feng Sheng were exposed to unclear relationships. One seemed with another male, one spending time with a wealthy female, one getting married, and one walking in a neighborhood park with a female holding hands. Although these actions are not too significant, in an industry that places the image of a clean background in the most critical position, it is no surprise when fans are disappointed in their idols at the news and the resulting aftermath of losing fans and perhaps the upcoming movies in the series not being able to air.


Works cited:

“吴亦凡事件.” 百度百科, baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%90%B4%E4%BA%A6%E5%87%A1%E4%BA%8B%E4%BB%B6/58068332?fr=ge_ala. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

“塌房.” 塌房萌娘百科 万物皆可萌的百科全书, zh.moegirl.org.cn/zh-hans/%E5%A1%8C%E6%88%BF. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

“塌房.” 百度百科, baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%A1%8C%E6%88%BF/59872724?fromModule=search-result_lemma-recommend. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.


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