Right after Godfrey’s passing, the Chinese hashtag #StopFilming went viral on Weibo, calling the reality show in ZheJiang TV ” Chase Me” to be cancelled. The hashtags about it had garnered hundreds of millions views.
His death set off a wave of anger on Weibo with millions of people criticizing the entertainment industry as focused on ratings instead of safety.
Angry netizens called for a boycott of Zhejiang TV. Others argued that the government should regulate reality television shows, including game shows like “Chase Me,” more strictly, noting other cases of injury and death.
What is the reality show about?
“Chase Me” is a reality show first debuted on Nov 8. Besides the regular cast, which is made up of actors, actresses, and singers, the show also features celebrity guests on its weekly programme.
During the programme, cast members and guests are split into two teams, where they compete against each other to win races.
The show is famous for pushing its contestants to their limits. Participants scale tall buildings, skid down obstacle courses, hang from tight ropes and various types of stunts.
Lucas Wong, a rapper from K-pop group NCT was featured as a guest on episode 3 of Chase Me.
Twitter users shared several fan videos of Lucas panting and visibly on the brink of exhaustion while filming the show.
— yukhei’s classic burger (@xuxissky) November 27, 2019
In one recent episode, even the Chinese professional boxer who was 2 time Olympic champion, Zou Shiming also seems visibly distressed during one of the activities.
He fell into a ball pit and struggled to emerge as his teammates watched on. After the crew helped him out of the ball pit, he was visibly out of breath, and the host mentioned that Zou had a leg cramp.
This is a clip of Chase Me showing how the show isn't safe. If they reacted a second later, the balls would really have suffocated him.
Their obstacles are the same almost every ep. The range is huge. They even climb really tall buildings which is still kinda dangerous to look. pic.twitter.com/NNOiN8pt9C
— Zifan's trash…. 😏 (@JiYangyangs) November 27, 2019
Godfrey’s death came as a shock to fans and friends, many of whom have taken to social media to express their sorrow.
▼Shu Qi, who worked with Gao on Shanghai Fortress, wished Gao a good journey to the afterlife.
▼Actor Sunny Wang said in a tribute that he and Gao had “an interesting path” to becoming friends, and remarked that Gao was “one of the nicest human beings” he has ever known.
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RIP Godfrey 🙏🏻 I still can’t believe it while I’m writing this. We had quite an interesting path to becoming friends, and only we will know. You were one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever gotten to know. I respect you G. My condolences to your family, friends and loved ones. Rest well G. 😢
▼Taiwan-based celebrity Alex Niu said in an Instagram post that Gao was always admired for his handsome looks, but what was remarkable was his humility and approachable personality.
“What they don’t know is how humble he is, how approachable he is, how modest he is, how wonderfully unintimidating a star he is,” he wrote.
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🙏😢💔😭😢💔😭😢💔😭🙏 #ingodfreywetrust When you’re with him, SO many people come up and the first thing they say is how good looking he is, how handsome he is, how beautiful he is. So often admired for his exterior by fans and strangers. What they don’t know is how humble he is, how approachable he is, how modest he is, how wonderfully unintimidating a star he is, how truly charming he is. Condolences to your family. May you Rest In Peace bro. Until we meet again my brotha, see u on the other side. And we will play that game of 🏀 one day G. 💐👊
Goodbyes hurt the most when the story was not finished .. RIP Godfrey 😭😭😭