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Schadenfreude

(2010-02-09 23:02:46)
标签:

娱乐

分类: 杂谈

 

I have always been a fan of Zhang Ziyi. She is beautiful, hard working and talented. However, her  reputation has been tarnished through a series of scandals which has unraveled in public eye in the past 6 weeks. What happened was a real life drama of power, greed and sex that is in everyway as dishy as Dallas, and better.

I have always been curious about the German word Schadenfreude which is such perfect translation of a Chinese proverb – xing zai le huo ( 幸灾乐祸)。Kind of funny how only Germans and Chinese can nail down that nasty sentiment in their respective languages. The fall of Zhang Ziyi was nothing less than a Schadenfreude Fest between the press,the public and whoever it was that wanted to see her fall.

It all started with Ink Gate. Apparently, some goons showed up at the Park Hyatt Residence in Beijing late last December and splashed black ink all over an OMEGA ad billboard which featured Zhang Ziyi.  This was totally a planned act, since someone has actually called the press before hand so the paparazzi can get the photos and spread the word around.  As a result, this was all over the Chinese internet. Speculations went wild as to who was behind “Ink Gate”.

 As deligent entertainment reporters dug deeper and deeper, they came up with a Beijing socialite, a mistress with an illegitimate son of a certain “Mr. Big”, and a former confident of the actress. As the rumours circulated, a Miss Zhao actually came clean with the press as the socialite with her version of the story.

According to Miss Zhao, she introduced Ziyi to a tycoon, who became obsessed by the actress and gave her 200 million yuan (25 million dollars)worth of gifts in jewels. Zhao claims the tycoon’s wife was upset and behind the ink throwing. The rest was unsaid but perfectly understood. The press bought her story hook, line and sinker. Without any verification, everyone printed the story as if it was completely verified.

Another version claims that Wendy Deng, a.k.a. Mrs. Murdoch is behind Ink Gate.  This version speculate that the actress actually caused a serious rift between Mr. and Mrs. M. Most people thought this story was pure speculation until news came out that Zhang Ziyi will no longer co-produce with Mrs. Murdoch or star in the film “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”.  The official announcement by the production and the actress herself seem to lend credibility to speculation of a serious spat between the two former girlfriends.

The Chinese press had a field day, ziyi’s reputation in Hollywood has always received mixed reviews in China and earned her the nickname “International Zhang”. Somehow, the Chinese public does not see her success as some kind of triumph of Chinese soft power, but rather, they see her as someone who drifted too far away from home.

The truth is Zhang ziyi was very close to both Miss Zhao and Wendy Murdoch, and there are plenty of press photos to prove it.  The were the beautiful rich and famous girls that the public loved to hate. So these scandals probably sold so many newspapers that it would have broght a smile to Rupert’s face, if only his wife was not in the mist of it.  The whole thing is some kind of Chinese real life replay of “gossip girl” + “dirt”.

But this week, things turned ugly for Ziyi. The press decided to bring her down by digging into her charity projects, there seems to be discrepancies of what she claimed to have donated and the actual amount transferred. There are also questions about overseas charity funds which supposedly never reached its designated project.  This has broght about a campaign of public scrutiny of charity projects by entertainment stars in China. Now criminal charges of fraud are flying in the air.

So as China’s best known actress bite the dust, the press and public seem to have totally enjoyed her demise. Schadenfreude, we so know how to do it, and do it well.

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