Vancouver-born Edison Chen has starred in 30 movies and recorded 12 Chinese-language hip-hop albums over the last eight years, but none have matched the popularity of his recently broadcasted sex(y) photography.
As the flow chart to the right denotes, Chen has been implicated as the evil genius behind a collection of NSFW photos with various female Hong Kong celebrities.
(In fact, if the pictures were any more NSFW, they would walk into your place of work and fire you themselves.)
The images have been trickling out on HK blogs from the end of January to as recently as last week, as the scandal, which has taken the uninspiring name of Sexy Photo Gate, has not died down. Chen, who one assumes is embarrassed, has taken to hiding in North America, with reports stating he has been in Vancouver.
But even if Chen never makes it to Toronto – which, by the way, he should: Edison Chen, I’d like to personally invite to NOW’s Love & Sex party this Friday at Circa – this imbroglio is important for several reasons.
Firstly, given Chen is such a prolific star – his acting resume includes Infernal Affairs and Infernal Affairs II – and his exploits include a gang of other popular Chinese celebrities, this sex scandal could very well be the biggest in the history of the Chinese-speaking world.
Secondly, given there are very few fun news stories to follow in Canada at the moment (Karlheinz Schreiber = no barrel of laughs), the Chen fills the vacancy in our lives left when newspapers stopped covering Prime Minister Stephen Harper's insult toward the entire Greek community.
And thirdly, Chinese bloggers call each other netizens, which is completely insane. I wish I thought of that.
Anyway, for the gritty details (and images), this is the most comprehensive wrap up. And for local commentary, here’s this: As far caught-on-tape celebrity sex scandals go, Canadians have produced a precious few, with precious being the key word.
It’s reasonable to argue the Pamela Anderson-Tommy Lee tape of the late 90s is a monument in its field. With that tape, Anderson, also a Vancouverite, practically ushered in the current wave of sex tapes. Her tape was one the first of its type to be leaked to the Internet, where netizens widely downloaded it, and then released to video stores. (That last point was inserted only to make use of the word netizens.)
If this scandal truly is the largest in the Chinese-speaking world – which is, for all intents and purposes, the largest in the world – and our boy Edison is following in the tradition of Pamela Anderson, then Vancouver should be appropriately recognized: No other city can lay claim to sex scandals of this magnitude. Perhaps this notoriety is something Toronto should strive toward.