Talent Recap

‘The Voice of China’ Faces Backlash Over Viral Clips of Late Star Coco Lee

Coco Lee at Macy's Presents Fashion's Front RowGetty Images for Macy's

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Sing! China, a re-branded version of The Voice of China, is facing controversy after audio and video recordings were shared on social media featuring the show’s coach Coco Lee, who passed away last month. In the clips, Lee accuses the show of mistreatment.

The Voice of China Faces Backlash Over Coco Lee Clips

In an audio clip leaked on the Chinese social media website Weibo, someone believed to be Lee talks about how she was bullied by Sing! China after she challenged the show over her contestant’s elimination. The singer was sent home despite having a higher score than another contestant.

Lee also said the show ignored her request to have her team member Wang Zepeng stand next to her on stage due to a problem with her leg. She claimed that this caused her to fall. The singer had also apparently found out about her breast cancer diagnosis shortly before filming the show.

In a video clip shared on social media, Lee can be seen on the show’s set shouting about the unfairness of the rules. According to a translation, she points out that her team member had a score of 88.3, while a singer on another team scored 73. Lee questions why that singer “can have a second chance” while her team member was eliminated.

Lee also reportedly claimed that she was told to leave the show by two director’s aides, who threatened to call security. She claimed that one of them grabbed her by the shirt and tried to pull her off the stage.


There Have Been Calls to Boycott the Show

According to the Global Times, some people are calling for a boycott of Sing! China following the release of these clips. The show’s parent company Star CM Holdings reportedly saw its stock drop by 23 percent last week.

Amid the controversy, the show’s official Weibo account released a statement claiming that the audio of Lee had been edited, adding, “While there had been misunderstandings during the production, it was resolved after communication.”

Lee reportedly attempted suicide on July 2 and was taken to the hospital, where she remained unconscious. She passed away on July 5 at the age of 48. The singer had been diagnosed with depression several years ago.

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