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The influence of the MeToo movement on Taiwan’s film and television business

It has been five years since the alleged rape of W.

She was a burgeoning Taiwanese actress, and the man accused of attacking her was a director. She claims she was so shocked and afraid of revenge that she did not immediately report the alleged attack to the police but has since confided in friends about what happened.

She then signed a 1,300-word Facebook post accusing her friend of sexual misconduct on June 23. She spilled the beans that Tommy Yu directed the movie. He told the BBC that the damage to Yu’s reputation was “irreparable” because of W’s “false” report.

park image in taiwan

Interview of W by BBC

The BBC also conducted a phone interview with W.

She admitted, “I have been suppressing the memory,” and said she was finally able to come up because of the growing MeToo movement in Taiwan. None of them recognize her. Over a hundred people have accused prominent figures of sexual harassment or assault since late May, and new reports have arisen online practically every day.

What finally pushed many over the edge was a now-iconic scene from a Netflix show in which the show’s female protagonist encourages her female assistant to come forward about sexual harassment. The allegations have reached the entertainment industry after focusing on the political and activist communities and the intellectual elite.

According to Tzu-ying Wu of the Modern Women’s Foundation in Taipei, “not everyone follows politicians, celebrities are part of ordinary people’s daily life,” which is why the movement garners so much more attention. Conversations are easier to initiate. Many criticisms were first voiced on Facebook, which is still more widely used in Taiwan than Twitter. Their deaths were widely reported in the local media.

Amber Chang, a former model, accused a famous comedian of sexual assault on Facebook on June 19. Even though she didn’t use his name, most listeners knew exactly who she was talking about. So, the management of TV host Nono Chen denied knowing either the alleged victim or the incident.

W’s Facebook post prompted influencer Anissa Chang, aka Teacher Xiaohong, to publicly accuse Chen of abusing her the next day, in 2010. After then, she talked to the media. The BBC quotes Chang as saying, “you would be scared of the abusers,” which makes it difficult to speak up. She claims to have gone to the prosecutor’s office to file charges of attempted sexual assault, indecent assault, and sexual harassment against Chen after receiving complaints from more than 20 women.

Chen announced on Facebook that he was quitting his job to “reflect deeply” on June 21. The BBC tried to talk to him, but he refused to talk to them. Yao Le (L), an internet sensation, hosts a news conference at which actor Aaron Yan (R) apologizes.

building in taiwan

Vulgar Film’s incident

At a separate news conference, pop star Aaron Yan was accused of making sex films of his ex-boyfriend without his consent when the latter was 16 years old. Prosecutors are actively looking at the situation. Yan has not responded to the BBC’s questions. Still, he did show up to the press conference and apologize publicly, saying that he had made his ex-girlfriend “endure things you shouldn’t have to” and bowing, but added that he did not do anything coercive or secretly tape her.

Some people thought Yan was impolite because he hijacked Yao Le’s news conference without informing Yao Le. Big Tooth, aka actress Tina Chou, claims that in 2012, while on assignment in Hong Kong, popular TV presenter Blackie Chen attempted to force them to have sexual relations. She claims she didn’t speak up while working for his talent agency because she worried he would cause her to “lose all jobs immediately” if she spoke out. Despite Chen’s silence, he has threatened legal action against Chou for the “malicious rumors” he has spread, according to the BBC.

Chou responded on Facebook, “I can again sense the smothering pressure that I felt in the past. Despite my reluctance, I’ve decided to be courageous. The courtroom awaits! A day after Chou testified, model Yuan Kuo claimed on Facebook that she, too, had been the victim of sexual harassment and even physical assault at the hands of Chen. She claimed he began raping her but stopped when she began crying.

Since “I don’t want Big Tooth to be alone,” Kuo penned. As a result of Chen’s second silence to the BBC, his manager told local media that his client would no longer reply to “baseless” claims. No one should be surprised that Taiwan, widely regarded as East Asia’s most open and progressive country, has become a center of the MeToo movement. Some people have reacted negatively to the reckoning, as is normal in these situations. “I have been feeling awful,” Anissa Chang says, adding that she has been accused of rehashing a narrative she recounted a decade ago to “become more famous.”

a tower in taiwan

Questions from victim

When asked if they had reported incidents of harassment or assault to police, 90% of respondents to research conducted earlier this year by the Modern Women’s Foundation indicated they had not done so, and 40% said they had informed neither the police nor anybody else.

For this reason, W says, she prefers to remain anonymous.

She met Yu briefly at a movie screening in Taipei five years ago. She agreed to join him and his roommate for a tangyuan or sticky rice ball meal. On the winter solstice, when families typically gather for a tangyuan feast, she was far from home.

She says he groped her after their initial conversation about movies. She says she tried to escape, but he grabbed her and wouldn’t let go, even after she begged him to.

To the question, “Did I deserve to be raped just because I went to his home and ate tangyuan?” she hesitated. Asked W.

She believes that the strong desire to wash herself kept her from contemplating other options, such as getting help from a doctor or calling the police. In addition, she was afraid of being outside. While trying to process what had happened, she claims she sent Yu a picture of her injured thigh through a text message. “Oh my god,” he exclaimed in shock. What in the world caused that to happen?

She wasn’t the only one who claimed Yu had engaged in sexual misconduct.

For instance, W’s story was published three days after Siya Yu, a theater actor, made a vague charge of sexual harassment against the director on Facebook. She then claimed he molested her while they watched a movie in the theater’s general admission section.

Until she observed numerous social media posts by Tommy Yu, in which he argued that the ongoing MeToo movement in Taiwan would not address any problems but create “more hatred,” Siya Yu stated in her post that she hadn’t planned to speak out.

Because of his difficult background, he freely confessed he “completely lacks a correct understanding of love” and makes “many mistakes” in romantic partnerships.

After Siya Yu made her story public, she says more women reached out to tell her they had experienced similar things with him.

Almost as many people replied to W’s post, the commenters were understanding, and one even claimed to know someone who had been harassed by Yu twice.

Yu has only responded to the BBC’s inquiry concerning W’s complaint, not the other women’s allegations.

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