Trend in China: #MeToo movement resurfaces as singer accused of rape


What’s the trend?

Canadian pop star Kris Wu, 30, was accused by 19-year-old Du Meizhu of raping her two years ago and sleeping with several other underage girls. This is according to an interview she gave Sunday to NetEase, a Chinese news site.

Millions of Weibo readers who have followed the story known as # 吴亦 凡 事件 # agree that their own role in the story involves little more than “eating melons,” which means watching things happen. unfold in the margin.

What is the story?

In Sunday’s interview, college student and online celebrity Du said singer Wu raped her when she was 17 and had sex with at least seven other girls under the age of 18 after the have used with alcohol.

Wu, who has risen to prominence through acting, modeling and singing in China since leaving Korean boy group EXO in 2014, said on social media: “I have only met Miss Du when he left Korean boy group EXO. ‘once at a meeting of friends … I have never “forced women to have sex”.

On July 19, Wu’s studio released an official statement on Weibo, saying the disclosures were fabricated and police were investigating the case.

Despite the denial of the allegations, more than 10 associated brands have abandoned their collaborations with the singer, pending the police investigation. National skincare brand Kans, music streaming platform Yunting and household detergent maker Libai have officially severed ties to the celebrity.

Wu holds Canadian citizenship and grew up between Vancouver and Guangzhou. This isn’t the first time he’s been accused online of sexually abusing female fans.

Southern Weekend, a Chinese newspaper, wrote on Monday: “This is no longer just a ‘melon’ entertainment circle, but a public incident that possibly involves a crime. The police must actively intervene in the investigation. If the allegations are true, Wu should be held criminally responsible. If this is not true, the blogger who broke the news is said to be spreading rumors, a criminal offense.

The Chinese MeToo movement started by feminist activists in 2018 has been low-key on Chinese social media in part because of a legal system that makes such cases difficult to prosecute. In particular, cases brought to justice must meet a high threshold of evidence in the Chinese justice system, which is more difficult to gather in sexual assault cases.

What are people saying online?

A number of commentators on the original story took the charges at face value and decided that Wu was guilty and that his foreign status was the cause, telling the singer he should “get out of China,” an comment that seems far away. coarser in Chinese than in English.

Others have swept away male artists in general. “Sexual assault cases are hard to substantiate with evidence, but does that mean he’s innocent? Don’t male artists also need a moral outcome?

Taking a different moral stance, one person, ignorant of celebrity culture, wondered why young girls date pop stars anyway: “Don’t these girls have to go to school?

Another popular comment reads: “We don’t stand in line to look at this rationally. (If we were, we would see) a lot of holes in the story.

And these are gaps that commentators seem ready and willing to fill themselves. Examples include: “Who’s behind [accuser] Mizhu? What kind of team does she have? and “The mainstream media is silent as brands abandon Wu on the left and center. It must be a question of capital.

A Weibo user thinks, “This must be the Olympics. Whenever an Olympic event comes up, stories like this surface. The last time was Wang Baoqiang’s divorce, which we all nibbled at like “melons”.

This story had over 5 billion likes on Weibo in the summer of 2016.

Contact reporter Heather Mowbray ([email protected]) and editor-in-chief Michael Bellart ([email protected])

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