A celebrity who used a recording at a live musical performance in eastern China has apologised after a public backlash, again raising the issue of professionalism in the entertainment business.
Actress and singer Han Xue was starring as the lead female character in the musical Into the White Nigh.
But before a performance in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, Han appeared on stage, telling the audience she had an acute inflammation of the vocal cords and could not sing. Instead, she explained, the theatre company had decided she would still appear in the musical using a recording of her singing from a previous performance.
Afterwards, Han thanked the audience in a Weibo post, saying it was “the most special performance of Into the White Night”.
But her post drew criticism online, with comments that miming at a live performance was unacceptable and unforgivable – even if the audience was warned. Han’s performance was criticised as unprofessional.
Others said the way the theatre group handled the situation also showed a lack of professionalism, as there should have been an understudy for the live performance who could step in at short notice. Some speculated that Han may have been kept in the show because of her fame, to sell more tickets.
Han apologised on Weibo on Tuesday, saying she had developed a cold and was worried about her father, who had a heart attack on the day of the performance. She said she had also apologised on stage on Saturday, and had told audience members who were unhappy with the arrangement that they could get refunds for their tickets.
The company also said that it would provide refunds for tickets to Saturday’s show for any dissatisfied audience members.