CHINA - The country's top press and media watchdog has ordered TV stations and other outlets to stop broadcasting material featuring stars who use drugs or visit prostitutes.
The ban, which covers online media, film producers and publishers, is intended to keep the industry healthy. It applies to films, advertisements and TV and radio shows
Celebrities who break the law should not be invited to appear in programs, and transmission of their works should be suspended, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said in a statement.
Recent cases involving stars using drugs or visiting prostitutes have harmed the image of the entertainment industry and set a bad example for young people, the statement added.
On Aug 14, Jaycee Chan, son of kung fu superstar Jackie Chan, was detained after he allegedly allowed others to take drugs at his home in Beijing. A month later, prosecutors ordered the arrest of the singer and actor.
Taiwan actor Kai Ko was caught using drugs in the apartment, and was given 14 days' detention.
In July, Zhang Mo, son of actor and director Zhang Guoli, was arrested for a second time for using drugs, following his detention for smoking marijuana in 2012.
A month earlier, screenwriter and novelist Chen Wanning, known by his online name Ning Caishen, was detained for possessing and using methamphetamine.
In other cases, Wang Quan'an, the Golden Bear-winning film director, and actor Huang Haibo were detained in Beijing on suspicion of hiring prostitutes.
News of the ban spread on Sina Weibo on Wednesday, and the statement was forwarded more than 2,300 times within three hours.
Micro-blogger Longke Harry agreed with the move, saying that stars should set a good example, as they are public figures.
However, another Sina Weibo user, Liu Huichao, disagreed, saying: "Good films or other works cannot rely on one star. Instead they are the fruit of many celebrities. So it's not reasonable to eliminate the products."
The Beijing Trade Association for Performances announced last month that it will not hire celebrities involved in drug abuse or prostitution.
Liu Zhongkui, the association's deputy head, said, "Stars should not only keep a good image in the public, but should also be disciplined offstage."
Earlier this year, the association and 42 Beijing performing arts organisations agreed to avoid employing stars who use drugs.