More than 200 popular as well as upcoming artists participated in "Singer's Day," a discussion on celebrity behavior in Quang Ninh Province on Monday, January 17.
Contrary to the hopes of the audience and the media, the discussion remained lukewarm as artists were unusually civil in talking of celebrity scandals.
Show hosts psychiatrists and counselors Huynh Van Son and Ly Thi Mai discussed the effects of media and public voyeurism on the lives of popular artists. They advised people in the public eye to "respect and support colleagues" and "not let fame go to their heads."
In recent years, showbiz in Vietnam has been plagued with scandals, and bitter backbiting. With the popularity of the Internet, celebrities also have to deal with stories, true or fabricated, going viral in cyberspace.
Most artists beat around the bush when talking about sensitive topics such as private photos being made public, or negotiating payments.
"It is distasteful of the media to use photos of plunging cleavages to draw public attention," said noted singer Minh Quan.
Ngoc Anh, star singer of the 90s, said, "In my heyday, the paparazzi was not all over our private lives.
They were more concerned with artists' talents and performances."
"However, I did once find myself in the middle of a scandal after wearing a fishnet costume on stage. I just let the public furor die down. I did, however, learn a valuable lesson in being careful about my public appearance."
Anh advised upcoming artists to be professional, maintain their composure, and offer a public apology if the situation demands it.
Some artists said that tabloids often try to pick their lives apart to grab headlines, and they have to resort to lying to protect their privacy.
Singers Vu Ha and Hoang Hai lamented that though the press was doing their job, sometimes they took matters too far, distressing them and their families.
"Too many publications focus more on rumors than artists' abilities and work," said Hai.
Many embraced Thanh Duy's simple motto of telling the truth and nothing but during online chats or interviews with fans.
"There is no reason to be afraid if you are telling the truth," said singer Thuy Vu, member of boy band AC&M.
Event host Son advised participants to request editorial offices to send them questions in advance so they can respond appropriately.
Well-known music composer Le Quang said that he hoped the artists had gleaned some lessons to keep their lives scandal-free.
He added that previous "Singer's day" discussions about boycotting lip-sync had increased awareness among the artist community and reduced its occurrence.
Later, the artists held a charity music show Noi vong tay lon (Open your arms together) to raise funds for the underprivileged. They also visited orphanages to distribute presents among local children.