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Chinese Voice Actor Being Accused for of Cheating and Manipulation, Losing His Leading Role in Popular Dating Sim Game

By Isabella Jiangcheng
Oct. 6, 2021 updated 11:00

Recently, Chinese voice actor Li Yuantao, the voice behind China’s popular dating simulation game Light and Day was accused of having multiple affairs while being married. The accuser claimed that Li used his fame to manipulate multiple girls into having sexual relationships with him, and one victim began self-harming behavior because of the incident. Other sources also revealed that Li was unfaithful in his previous marriage. These scandalous acts upset the online community, causing them to ‘cancel’ Li.

Light and Day is one of the most popular mobile dating simulator games in China. In these kinds of games, players would have a chance to explore their romantic fantasies and develop a relationship with in-game characters. According to sources, some fans messaged Li on social media out of the blue, and got a surprisingly warm and personal response from their beloved character, causing them to grow romantically attached to Li himself.

The studios reacted quickly. Within 24 hours, Light and Day released a statement to confirm that the studio has suspended all future projects with Li, and will soon replace his previous dubbing work of Even Lu with a new voice actor. The studio stressed that they do not tolerate ‘performers with lapsed morals’ and asked the gamers to recognize the game character as an individual, not a subsidiary of the character’s voice actor. This statement has caused a chain reaction in the industry. Other famous titles, such as Identity V and Genshin Impact, have also confirmed that they would discontinue any potential collaborations with Li, and would find a replacement for his roles. 

Li being one of the most prominent stars in the industry means his career-ending stunt also shocked some of the biggest game titles in China. The screenshot above shows many games terminated his contract.

This is probably a good chance for some voice actors to evaluate their marketing approach. Similar to the concept of seiyuu in Japan, voice actors in China are somewhat idolized by a unique fanbase, forming their own subculture group. As all pop idol culture goes, this relationship can be dangerously toxic. In some extreme cases, fans imagine the actors to be the fictional characters they fantasize about, and behaviors of the voice actors that are considered ‘out-of-character’ could be called out by fans on social media, especially in the dating sim scene. What Li did was technically not illegal, but ‘not illegal’ is just not good enough for fans that expect him to hold to a higher moral standard.