Global brands are distancing themselves from rapper and model Kris Wu after sexual misconduct allegations.
Louis Vuitton, Porsche, and several Chinese brands have severed ties with the rapper. That’s after an allegation that he date-raped underage girls, which he has denied. Wu has been an ambassador for Louis Vuitton since 2018, but the French fashion designer announced its split on Weibo – China’s version of Twitter.
“We put much attention on the accusations against Wu,” Louis Vuitton said in its statement. Wu is a former member of the South Korean boy band Exo. But the sexual assault allegations are drawing interest from Chinese officials.
“Earlier this month, 19-year-old student Du Meizhu began writing social media posts alleging that Wu, 30, had date-raped her when she was 17, and lured numerous other young girls to his bed through unscrupulous means,” a report states. Meizhu spokes in more detail about her experiences with Wu, sparking attention both inside and outside of China.
Kris Wu has vehemently denied the sexual misconduct claims against his character. “If there really had been such behavior, I would certainly be willing to go to jail,” Wu wrote on his Weibo account. Wu has not been formally charged with any crimes, and his company insists that he only ever met Du once. The company issued a statement on Monday outlining ten points to refute the claims.
In 2018, Wu signed an exclusive international recording agreement with Universal Music to distribute his music globally, excluding Japan and Korea. Wi was one of the first Chinese artists to reach the #1 spot on the US iTunes chart. Universal says its contract with Wu expired earlier this year, and it has not been renewed.
There has been an increasing focus on how musicians and famous people interact with fans and media. American shock rocker Marilyn Manson faces several sexual assault allegations from high-profile women he dated over the years. Many women have characterized him as abusive, while he has denied those allegations. Manson maintains that his relationships were consensual and with “like-minded partners.”
Manson also saw a similar backlash, with his label and long-time manager dropping him. Now it’s unclear if Wu’s controversy will impact some of his projects going forward. Tencent Video’s “The Golden Hairpin” stars Wu and is adapted from a popular historical romance web novel in China. The show finished shooting last summer and is gearing up for a release this August.