Fans, celebrities pay tribute to Godfrey Gao, express outrage over Chinese TV show
Some have pointed out that Chase Me was the same show where Chinese singer Yuqi and K-pop artiste Lucas of SuperM and WayV struggled from exhaustion in previous episodes.
Fans and fellow celebrities have reacted with shock and sadness at the news of Godfrey Gao's sudden passing while filming a variety show in China early Wednesday (Nov 27).
The 35-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian actor and model collapsed while running in a team event for Chase Me, a Zhejiang Television-produced show that pits two teams against each other in physical challenges late at night. It had only been on air since early this month.
Actress Shu Qi, who appeared with Gao in the film Shanghai Fortress, wished him a "safe journey to the afterlife" on Instagram.
Canadian actor Simu Liu, the star of the upcoming Marvel movie Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, took to Twitter to express his shock.
He wrote: "My heart is absolutely shattered. Godfrey left us far too soon and in far too tragic of a way."
My heart is absolutely shattered. Godfrey left us far too soon and in far too tragic of a way.https://t.co/ZDEWvUx54u— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) November 27, 2019
Singapore actress Belinda Lee also posted a message on Instagram, calling Gao "an incredible talent".
Meanwhile, fans have flooded Gao's last Instagram post with messages expressing their sadness. One wrote: "We have to remember him for what he was now. It hurts so much," while another said, "This is so shocking. No words."
Some netizens have called out the show for pushing their contestants too much, resulting in the tragedy.
“The Chinese variety show #ChaseMe is putting contestants through extreme physical labour to the point actor Godfrey Gao has collapsed on set and died. Just looking at this video alone you can see they were pushed beyond their limits,” tweeted reictzen.
Others have called for investigations – and even for the show to be cancelled.
“I'm more angry than anything about Godfrey Gao's death because it was 100% preventable,” tweeted lunaisfree_. “That show better take responsibility for this and take proper measures to ensure the safety of future guests; or just cancel the show in its entirety. What happened on #ChaseMe is NOT okay.”
stanukiss2k19 added: “They need to investigate #ChaseMe. Godfrey Gao was in good shape and everyone knows this. He was 35. He filmed for 17 hours straight with the possibility of no break. There were no proper medical attention given to him. Investigate!”
“That 'Chase Me' show either needs to put in place better safety regulations or completely cancel the show. What happened to Godfrey Gao was something that was easily preventable. And the fact that this could or almost happened to anyone makes me scared and pissed off,” said Caribbean_Kage.
Others have also pointed to a previous incident involving Chinese singer Yuqi and Hong Kong singer Lucas of K-pop bands NCT, WayV and SuperM struggling during the show.
“I remember videos of yuqi and lucas breathing really hard and almost on their knees for the extreme fatigue,” tweeted shinegooreum.
Said SeoSone029: "It was during the chase me verity show, the same one Lucas was on few weeks ago & the one that caused his back to get hurt....”