Jackie Chan: The right combination of blame and support for son Jaycee?

Jackie Chan has come forward with a public apology for his grown son's arrest for drug use. In coming forward quickly to admonish, and at the same time support, his son, is Mr. Chan offering a solid parenting model?

Bobby Yip/Reuters/FILE
Hong Kong actor Jaycee Chan arrives at the Hong Kong Film Awards in this April 19, 2009 file photo. China is turning up the heat in a high-profile crackdown on drugs that has ensnared a string of celebrities, including the son of Hong Kong kungfu movie star Jackie Chan, as the government seeks to push forward a wider campaign against extravagance and decadence.

Jackie Chan proved himself to be a parental action hero of sorts this week after his son, Jaycee Chan, was arrested for drug use and this father didn’t hesitate to made a public apology, shoulder his parental role and hold his adult son accountable for his actions. 

The difficulty of Mr. Chan standing by his grown son is compounded by the fact that in 2009, China named the movie star as an anti-drug ambassador and in 2011 was made an “Image Ambassador” by the Chinese Film industry. 

Jaycee Chan, 31, also an actor, was detained August 14 with Taiwanese movie star Kai Ko as part of China's biggest anti-drug crackdown in two decades, according to CTV News of Canada.

This comes after 42 artist management agencies in Beijing signed an agreement with the local police last week pledging to take action against illegal drug use in the industry, after a slew of high-profile drug-related celebrity detentions over the past few months.

Taiwanese actor and pop idol Kai Ko has apologized to fans for “setting a bad example” following his arrest in Beijing for using marijuana.

Police said both actors tested positive for marijuana and admitted using the drug, and that 100 grams (3.53 ounces) of it were taken from the younger Chan's home.

"For my son, Fang Zuming (Jaycee), to get into such trouble, I'm very angry and astonished,” Mr. Chan wrote In a microblog posting Wednesday. “As a public figure, I'm ashamed, as a father, I'm heartbroken, I can't begin to describe his mother's pain. I hope young people will take a lesson from Zuming (Jaycee) and stay away from drugs,” according to China Daily’s English translation.

Chan added, “I failed to be a good father and I deserve the blame. I will take the responsibility and apologize to public on behalf of Jaycee!"

He didn’t try and downplay the drug use by citing that marijuana is rapidly becoming legal in other parts of the world. Nor did he make excuses for his privileged son’s actions or say he was a good kid who’d fallen in with a bad crowd.

Also, this father didn’t turn his back on his son, but instead wrote that he and his son will face the future together. Just because Jaycee is older, doesn’t mean his father doesn’t have a role in influencing his choices.

At the end of the day, how we judge this father may say more about us and our style of parenting than it does about him.

Those who tow a hard line might say the actor is overprotecting his son, who should perhaps be the one out front with an apology. However, those who feel it’s important to come down hard on the problem, but not the person, might support the elder Chan’s forthcoming approach.

There is no expiration date on setting a positive example for our kids. While we don’t want to coddle our children through their adulthood, parents still have roles to play in their lives as mentors and guides.

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