In the wake of the Taiwanese Canadian Godfrey Goa’s death on November 27 in Ningbo, China, Zhejiang Television has cancelled its Chase Me reality show.
The star was running in the show where participants go through challenges when he collapsed and his body was transported back to Taiwan for a funeral that will be held on December 15.
Straits Times quoted The Qianjing Evening News saying the director of Zhejiang Television, Mr Lin Chong told the Chinese paper the team was immersed in grief and remorse after the incident.
He said the team feel deeply sorry for Gao, his parents and to all the people who love him.
Given medical help on-site after he collapsed, the model-actor succumbed to a cardiac arrest at a hospital.
Gao was not sure whether he should take part in the show before shooting began.
Kim Huang, his hairstylist said in an online post that he told Gao he can make it because he thought Gao was physically fit since he played basketball and lifted weights.
During the filming of Chase Me, Gao’s agency revealed that he was suffering from a cold.
Since his death, netizens wondered if Chinese reality shows – which compete to gain ratings with novel action-packed elements – are subjecting participants to too much risk.
Screenshots of allegedly tracking communication among Zhejiang Television employees over Gao’s collapse surfaced online which infuriated netizens.
They criticised the insensitive comments questioning his fitness and reports that indicated the contract he signed absolved the broadcaster from any blame over incidents.
Netizens also were enraged over the news that claimed a participant in a previous Chase Me episode was about to abseil down a 70m platform before a crew member detected that his safety harness was not attached.
Taiwan host Jacky Wu also condemned the hyper-competitive nature of reality shows.
Wu said he was asked to climb a thousand steps, without naming which Chinese programme he was in.
Wu then discussed with the producers about the excessive demands.
Wu warned that industry newcomers must first know their physical capabilities and not embrace the unknown recklessly with the shows proving a valuable platform.
He also blamed South Korea where producers have made a splash with reality shows and licensed their concepts to others in Asia.