Anger over Sichuan earthquake-themed model photo shoot

Organisers cancel event after criticism of plans to take pictures of models amid rubble to mark the 10th anniversary of the disaster that killed 69,000 in southwest China

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2018, 12:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2018, 3:19pm

A social media channel in China has been strongly criticised online for promoting a photo shoot with attractive models on the theme of the Sichuan earthquake, a newspaper reported.

The channel on the messaging app WeChat invited photographers to pay 999 yuan (US$157) to take pictures during the shoot called “Blooms in the Rubble”, marking the 10th anniversary of the disaster, Beijing Morning Post reported.

The shoot was to take place in the middle of this month at an abandoned coal mine to the west of Beijing and feature four models, the article said.

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An advert for the shoot said the aim was to create a contrast between the rubble created by the earthquake and the “full modern flavour of beautiful women” to create “sparks”.

The 10th anniversary of the earthquake, which killed more than 69,000 people, is on May 12.

Internet users were angered by the promotion, according to the newspaper, accusing organisers of trying to profit from the disaster.

The advertisement was deleted from the channel’s WeChat feed on Monday morning.

An e-commerce company runs the social media channel and an unnamed manager was quoted as saying an event planner at the firm was responsible for the advert.

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The post had been deleted and the photo shoot cancelled, the person said, adding that no one had signed up for it.

An internet sales expert, Zhang Zhi, told the paper the company lacked social responsibility. 

“If you were the family member of a victim of the earthquake, would you like to see someone using this event to make money? Of course you wouldn’t,” he said.