CW: This article contains discussion about sexual assault and abuse.
The #metoo movemnt is back in the news again, this time stemming from China. The case is regarding one of the biggest popstars in China, Kris Wu (吴亦凡). Kris is an entertainer who was born in China, and spent a decent part of his adolescent life in Canada. He is now being accused of raping a number of women.
Du Meizhu (都美竹), a 19-year old college student has come forward with allegations that Wu raped her when she was 17, she says that the singer used alcohol to date rape her. After her initial accusations she is now claiming that she knows of at least 30 other women with similar claims. These claims include using alcohol, drugs, and the promise of fame to lure young women into having sex with him. At least two of these victims were allegedly minors, though the age of consent in China is only 14.
[trending] Du Meizhu takes an interview with Wangyi revealing more details on her allegations against #KrisWu (summery in P2) + some brands start privatising their posts with Kris
No response from Kris’ team yet, following the legal letter on July 8 pic.twitter.com/iNipPCs6cL
— cdrama tweets (@dramapotatoe) July 18, 2021
Du has stated that she will (as of this publishing) not be releasing the names of other victims saying, “Because of what the law requires, because of the media’s pursuit of hot topics, once I put those out, these victims’ lives will be destroyed, just like mine.” One of the most heartbreaking things about this whole saga is that she is almost certainly correct about this.
She has reportedly received offers of millions of RMB to drop her accusations, end her acting career, and release the names of the other accusers to Wu’s Management team. She refused this though there seems to have been a payment to her by a fan club which she had not asked for, and has said she will repay what has been given to her.
She has already received the hate it seems that always explodes when such allegations arise. Most of us have seen it with our own eyes, not just random people, but media organizations covering for accused abusers in positions of power. Look at what happened to numerous allegations against leading figures in the democratic party over the past year, for example with accusations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Du must also face a society that views victims as used up or dirty, saying “…the public already believes I’m spoiled underwear.” This sort of sentiment is all too common around the globe, and once again is not only the case in China. China does have many of its own specific problem on this issue, like not having the chance of a trial by jury (which also has its own set of issues stemming from internalized norms regarding sexual abuse).
Unfortunately, this case has also led to a lot of, what I would consider, unproductive discussions. One of these is in regard to Kris’ penis size, Du at one point referring to Kris as “Wu Toothpick”. While I can of course feel sympathy for victims and their desire to lash out at their abusers (in this case I must legally state alleged abuser) and honestly when I saw that statement I wanted to get some shots in too. I still may as more evidence rolls out, but even if I did this I don’t know if it would be anything but cathartic, and may actually run counter to the ultimate goal of getting equality and justice for victims. (though of course again this is not me trying to control what victims feel/say and if you do go off about your abuser or someone who has abused others you will not hear from me in your mentions, in fact we would welcome anyone who wants to tell their story or give their prospective on these issues to contact us and we’d love to have you on the pod or to write an article). I simply fear that piling on the assailant may shift focus away from getting true justice for victims and ensuring that we work towards a reality where horrible attacks, such as is alleged in this case, don’t happen, and instead allowing people to do what they normally do on social media, shit post and forget about it.
Another attack that I have seen is that Kris is Canadian, and that he should go back to “his country”. Along with Du, Hu Wen Sui, another Chinese actor has called for the Wu to leave China. This is never really a useful tactic, again my opinion, as it just comes off as xenophobic, an issue which China has had a long history of (step away from the stirrups of your vertically endowed equine). I also think it just doesn’t make sense, because if he is allowed to cut and run then he would theoretically never face justice, which would be a travesty. Though perhaps for Wu, this would be a smart move.
Kris of course drew the justified anger of netizens around the world and in China, though this is not his biggest problem for him, for it seems the ruling CCP is also displeased. With their 99.93 percent conviction rate Chinese courts would likely be a place Kris would want to stay away from if that sentiment remains.
Kris has now lost many of his former sponsors. Some have outright dropped Wu, while others have put him on suspension pending the outcome of legal proceedings. These range from Louis Vuitton and Porsche to cosmetics and snack brands.
Wu has stated that all of the accusations against him are lies, and that if he was guilty of this he would walk into prison himself.
What should be the focus for everyone around the world is that we make sure victims’ voices are heard. We must ensure that justice systems take these allegations very seriously and rehabilitate and punish abusers accordingly. Perhaps most importantly we need to continue to work towards a society where this cannot happen. We cannot continue failing this many people day after day, and we must prevent sexual abuse and rape, and when we fail this we must support victims and ensure that justice is achieved. This is true from international law, down to how we emotionally support victims, and speak out when we see abuse.
As more details arise we will try to keep you informed on the developments as they come through The Free China Pod and articles here on the site.