Tony Yu, a Chinese-Canadian Produce X 101 trainee, has been caught up in a controversy after an internet user from China accused his parents of offering prostitutes and drugs at a large-scale karaoke business under their name.
Tony Yu became popular after he appeared as a contestant on South Korean boy group reality show, "Produce X 101," where he ranked 20th. Under Hongyi Entertainment, he was a trainee for eight months prior to his participation in the reality show. Following his appearance on "Produce X 101," Yu went on to participate in the Chinese reality show, "Youth With You."
Who is Tony Yu?
Born on August 21, 2002, in Chengu, Sichuan, Yu grew up in Canada after his family moved when he turned six years old. While he ranked just 20th on "Produce X 101," Yu was a favorite among his viewers, who referred to him as a "silver spoon" due to his privileged upbringing.
However, Yu was viewed favorably due to his hardworking nature and bright persona, who received praise from BLACKPINK's Lisa for his performance in "Youth With You". Lisa said in an interview with Sohu Entertainment that she thought Yu was "incredibly passionate" and "very serious."
What are the accusations against Tony Yu's parents?
The accusations against Yu's parents were posted on Chinese microblogging site, Weibo. According to Koreaboo, the Weibo user posted that their acquaintance worked at a flower shop during the holidays where the acquaintance learned about the karoake business.
The acquaintance alleged that Yu's mother ran a high-end and exclusive karaoke business, where only "big shots" could enter and were provided with illegal services. The acquaintance also claimed that a luxury car belonging to Yu's family was spotted parked on the premises.
Following the post, dated April 4, other users uncovered photos of what they alleged to be Yu's family, showing their affluent lifestyles in Chengdu and Canada. Netizens also uncovered that the karaoke business in question was registered under a painting studio that was registered under Yu's parents' name.
According to reports, the karaoke business was allegedly also famous online and had related search words such as "Chengdu Jinglu Karaoke girls how much," and "Chengdu Jingli Karaoke male model fees." Additionally, a 2014 job advertisement allegedly invites "beautiful" girls with heights over 158 centimeters to apply.
What does Tony Yu's family say about the allegations?
Yu's family have vehemently denied the allegations, with his mother stating on Weibo that the family had sold the business before moving to Vancouver, Canada. Yu's mother stated that while the karaoke business was sold in 2008, the paperwork was left until they returned to China in 2019 due to complications.
Yu's agency, Astro Music, has also denied Yu's participation in any illegal activities.