Dad Where Are We Going is a popular Chinese reality show adapted from the Korean version, in which the celebrity fathers travel with their kids. This show is famous for showing the interesting interaction between the fathers and children.
In the latest Season 4, the show added a new design called trainee father, which means that an unmarried celebrity young man plays the role of father of a kid. This design was controversial, as some criticized that those single men would not love the kids as real fathers. But overall, the idea of trainee father is appreciated by the audience.
Among all the trainee father couples, the most popular one is Dong Li and Cui Yahan. The 23-year old Dong is member of the National Fencing Team of China, known for his handsome face and tall figure. His “temporary daughter” Cui, is a lovely child star known as Arale.
In one episode of the show, Cui told Dong that she will marry him when she grows up. After that, fans of the two view them as a couple rather than father and daughter. Many audience raised question that whether the relationship between Dong and Cui is problematic, and whether this reality show will have a negative social impact.
The critics argue that it is not appropriate to let a little girl live with a stranger. As the trainee father, Dong have to dress up Cui everyday and sleep with her. This might convey a message that it is not dangerous for kids to stay privately with strangers as long as they look nice.
What’s more, the interaction between Dong and Cui might arouse people with Pedophilia. The legal regulation for pedophilia crimes in China is not well-established, and Chinese people don’t usually put emphasis on this issue. Therefore, the so called “couple regardless of age”, can be a potential fuse of sexual crimes targeting at children.
On the other hand, supporters of the show argue that this is only for entertainment. They think Dong, for sure, will not harm Cui. Meanwhile, those who relate this to sexual crimes are people who are sexually violent initially, and have nothing to do with the reality show.
As the main character of the controversy, Dong replied that he is very sensitive to the boundary of relationship with Cui. He said it was the female staff of the show that dress and bathe Cui. Also, he appealed that fans should be rational and stop imagine about unrealistic romance between them.