In the volatile K-Pop industry, where the line between fame and infamy can be perilously thin, the story of a former SM Entertainment trainee’s fall from grace and subsequent reinvention is particularly striking. The individual in question, a Chinese national born in 1996, came under intense scrutiny in 2016 when accusations emerged that he had been involved in sexting fans, including sending explicit photos and messages.
At the cusp of his career, poised to join the Chinese sub-unit of the then-upcoming huge project NCT, the young trainee’s prospects were derailed by the scandal. The controversy erupted when netizens began disseminating screenshots of the explicit content he allegedly shared.
The situation was exacerbated when it was revealed that these communications dated back to 2013, a time when he was participating in a Chinese survival show, spotlighting a pattern of behavior rather than an isolated lapse in judgment.
The backlash from fans was swift and severe, with Chinese supporters, in particular, voicing their protest against SM Entertainment for the trainee’s prospective inclusion in NCT. This public outcry ultimately led to the trainee’s departure from the path of idolhood.
In an industry where scandals can often spell the end of a celebrity’s public life, the ex-trainee chose to pivot away from the world of music and into acting, assuming the new name Yu Shi. With a fresh start in the entertainment industry, Yu Shi debuted as an actor in 2018. However, he only gained attention earlier this year with the ancient fantasy war movie Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms, where he played a prominent role.
Yu Shi’s acting career, while still in its early stages, has shown promise. His most recent work includes a significant role in the 2023 movie Born To Fly, an action-packed narrative focusing on a team of elite pilots pushing the boundaries of both their aircraft and themselves.
Despite his efforts to forge a new path, the shadows of the past are never far behind. As Yu Shi’s star began to rise in the acting domain, the connection to his former life as a trainee caught in a scandal surfaced among Chinese drama fans, renewing discussions about his past actions and their implications for his current career.
As Yu Shi continues to build his filmography, the industry and audiences alike will reveal whether talent and time can indeed turn the page on a troubled past.