Xiao Zhan Writes A Long Apology For the 227 Incident, Acknowledging Past Mistakes

Xiao Zhan has had a long tumultuous road to re-entering the public limelight again, following the 227 Incident that happened exactly one year ago.
In a long article directly addressing the 227 Incident where his fans took down the Archive of Our Own Website for Mainland Chinese users, Xiao Zhan described his mental journey in the turmoil of the past year, acknowledging that because of his silence, the situation quickly spiralled out of control. By failing to address the issue publicly when it happened, he also felt that he missed out on an opportunity to communicate directly to the public.
Now, he has understood the importance of being a public figure and chooses to assume the responsibilities required of him.  He also urged fans to be more “rational” about their pursuits and their involvements in fandom. He also encouraged fans to dedicate more focus and energy into their real life activities. “The online disputes and confrontations [can be better channeled towards] effort and improvement in real life.”
Xiao Zhan Apologized for the 227 Incident
Xiao Zhan Apologized for the 227 Incident

Later, Xiao Zhan’s Studio Weibo page also reposted, “Maintain rationality and do not lose the courage to move forward. We have also been looking for a balance point to solve the problem, and the studio will take responsibility together with Xiao Zhan.”

Xiao Zhan’s full long statement is as follows:

“Today I have some words for everyone. I’ve thought about many methods, finally, I decided to use the simplest method to tell everyone about the things I’ve felt and learnt in the past year. These thoughts may not represent anything much, much less can they resolve anything, but I still hope to be able to express these thoughts.

Last year this time, everything happened really quickly, like explosive gunpowder, it exploded to the point where my entire being felt stunned – phone calls were coming in incessantly, Wechat notifications just kept coming in one after the other, everyone’s opinion and the problem were all piled up against me. I wanted to speak about itthen, but I did not know what I should say, I had many questions in mind and was afraid that every word, every sentence would be over analysed and exaggerated, causing further sensationalisation fo the issue. So then, I decided that it was best if I stayed silent.

I never imagined that afterwards, the online conversations and discussions would become more and more heated, turning into an avalanche where it’s reach has become wider and wider to the point where things spiralled out of control for a person to handle. Even then afterwards I wanted to make one more announcement to save the situation, but things could no longer developed the way I hoped for it to.

A life full of [divisiveness and controversy] continued until now. An within one year, my current state is more like having been through many long, low and crooked paths. Anxiety,  reflection, struggle…. I have also considered where exactly that I went wrong, why from that day onwards so many events just became [like] an uncontrollable voyage.

I spent a large amount of time to digest, and even spent even more time to understand, analyze everyone’s words and actions. Slowly, I began to realize what everyone has to criticize about me. From the moment where I failed to express my attitude towards the incident, I missed the window of opportunity to rationally communicate with the rest, from the beginning, I was wrong.

Then, I still did not clearly understand the entire issue, I did not understand everyone’s emotions and more importantly, I did not understand the type of responsibilities one has to shoulder as a public figure.Thus, I missed out on a chance to communicate properly with everyone, and also missed out on shouldering the responsibility of channelling away these antagonistic emotions. Now I am aware and also understand that during the past year, everyone has brought up the issue of “An Idol Failing to Speak Up” to me, and has also voiced their criticisms. Their actions are correct. The past year I have repeatedly reflected, that as a public figure, aside from continuously seeking self improvement, it is more important to take responsibility and shoulder the necessary burdens as a member of the society. It is even more important to express the right principles and values. [I ought to] also in my best capacity, guide those who love and follow me. Even though in the past year, my Studio and I have communicated through Weibo [posts], interviews, to share some opinions, but the controversy caused by me, and the fan wars have brought people much harm, and it is something that is ultimately very difficult to ‘cure’.

No matter how late it is, my issue is something that I have to correct. I hope that at the moment I can represent my first opinion – Xiao Zhan will deeply apologize for failing to speak up last year and also to those who havee been negatively impacted and hurt by his inaction. This is the first responsibility that I should have shouldered to the public, and it was a real problem, I acknowledge my error.

At the same time, I also hope to take this opportunity to talk to my fans. This is the second responsibility that I have to shoulder. Last year, in that interview, I once said that I did not agree with the statement that an idol had to “manage” their fans, because everyone is an independent entity. Be it me or my studio, we have no rights to claim that we have higher authority as to be able to manage people. But upon deeper reflection, perhaps I am unable to use the definition of the word “manage” to define my relationship with my fans. But I do have a mission to “guide correctly and to actively advocate [for the right values].” So today, I want to tell my fans, that every one has the right to like and to dislike [something], no matter if one likes or dislikes something, they should still respect it. They should still have the persona space to express it. Of course, having such a right should also be based on rationality, not causing harm to the others and also conditional upon being able to influence the people around them correctly. Hope that my fans and friends can understand, that no matter whatever occupation, what age, their own likes  and actions should not cross boundaries and exemplify inappropriate behaviour. Even less to say, it should not be imposed to the extent that it goes against their occupational conduct. No matter whether it’s in the online world or in real life, everyone should take responsibility for their own actions and words. I hope that everyone will not have to be defined under the label “xxx’s fans” when we are being brought into discussions. I do not hope for there to be a situation [where there is a need for such a distinction], even more so where such a distinction is used to judge whether [something] is good or bad. Everyone has their own interests and likes, respecting the fact that everyone choice and freedom of speech. Love is something that should be a source of energy, I hope that this source will not give anyone any disturbances or even bring harm. Maybe the entire environment is not something that I can change, but at least this starts from me and you, today can be a new beginning.

Lastly, I want to talk to everyone about myself. From the moment I stepped into this job, walking until today, I have always been defined by some labels. But my very first intent since I stepped into the entertainment industry is to showcase my love for performance and music. Maybe it is because of this, I have always been working hard to be a more professional singer and actor. In the face of criticisms such an “idol who has lost his voice”, only then did I realize that aside from focusing on my professional skills, I also have to shoulder the responsibilities of what a public figure and an idol needs to shoulder. I was born in a very average family in Chongqing, like many people I have had over twenty years of living a normal life. Today I want to take this chance to apologize on behalf of my past non-celebrity self, for the words that he used that were inappropriate and the unintentional hurt caused to others. I will work hard to learn how to be a better self and also to simultaneously be a better public figure, may these two versions of Xiao Zhan be able to converge harmoniously, for me to be a better version of myself.

The past year, no matter the big or small matters, because of me there was a big controversy. Therefore, I need to be responsible for these matters. I can expect things from myself, but I cannot strengthen the will of others, I can only hope that those who really like me can take my words seriously. In deciphering if a person is good or bad, please be rational. Go and live an active and healthy life, and focus your effort and priorities on your real life activities. Refrain from quarrelling and being opposed against those behind online IDs. Focus more on real life and improving there. Only to be a better version of yourself.”

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