China’s new Mulan: Girl, 13, apologises for impersonating a male in a bid to join a boy band
- Fu Jiayuan lied about her gender in auditions for talent company YGN Youth Club
- She made it as far as bootcamp and videos of the 13-year-old were posted online
- Fans pointed out she was a girl and Ms Fu has been forced to apologise
A modern-day Mulan has apologised to her Chinese fans after she lied about her gender in an attempt to join a boy band.
Fu Jiayuan, 13, pretended to be a boy during auditions for popular management company YGN Youth Club.
The teenager made it as far as boot camp and videos were posted of her training and performances on social media.
A modern-day Mulan has apologised to her Chinese fans after she lied about her gender in an attempt to join a boy band
Fu Jiayuan, 13, pretended to be a boy during auditions for popular management company YGN Youth Club
She was exposed after fans started to point out that she was in fact a girl.
Ms Fu has since apologised and said she lied because she was ‘young and ignorant’, BBC reported.
YGN Youth Club only recruit boys, mostly aged 11 to 13, for their popstar training programme.
Auditions were being held online due to the Covid pandemic, and the company says this allowed Ms Fu to slip through the net.
In a statement, they said: ‘Our staff were negligent in the work process… In the future, we will adhere strictly to the company’s rules and regulations.’
In her apology, Ms Fu vowed to quit entertainment forever.
The teenager made it as far as boot camp and videos were posted of her training and performances on social media
She said: ‘This incident has affected my school life and my family.
‘Please delete your posts. I’m sorry to everyone who put their trust in me. I promise I will not show up in the entertainment industry nor on any short video platforms in the future.’
Fans have had a mixed response to the revelations, with some praising the teenager’s audacity and others criticising the company for trying to profit off children.
Many have compared the girl to the Chinese folk heroine Mulan who disguised herself as a man to fight for her family and country, who later inspired an eponymous Disney film.
A popular comment on Chinese social media site Weibo said: ‘The look of idol groups is so androgynous these days, so it’s hard to tell. Just let her join.’
YGN Youth Club only recruit boys, mostly aged 11 to 13, for their popstar training programme
Others said many popstars now have an androgynous look and Ms Fu should have been able to continue.
But Xi Jinping has recently launched a culture crackdown on ‘effeminacy’, associated with the West.
Boy bands are incredibly popular in China and families often see talent companies like YGN Youth Club as a route to success for their children.
The so-called idol industry is estimated to be worth around £11billion.
One of the biggest Chinese boybands, TFBoys, was formed when its members were aged 12 and 13.
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