All that Showbiz Glitz Ain’t Glamor

Eye On Taiwan
Date: May 5, 2016
By: David Wang, Special to Eye On Taiwan

Televised news in Taiwan, as is the case in the USA, regularly portrays as idols and even puts on a pedestal showbiz personalities to make them seem holier-than-thou and worthy of worship, admiration, especially among the star-crazy.

But it is also well-known in Taiwanese journalism that laziness and perfunctoriness tend to rule the day, where superficial reporting and even fabrication, speculation based on rumors and myths are published and aired.

But this seasoned female Taiwanese reporter proved to be an exception on a TV talk show aired May 3, 2016 in Taipei.

Not only deflating the larger-than-life persona of Taiwanese entertainers who venture into China to seek greener pastures, she recounted how she, one of the earlier Taiwanese paparazzi, tried to track down a big time star in Taiwan who had gone to China, where the showbiz market brims of massive potential, to have her own presumptions turned upside down.

After staking her spot on a movie lot, she waited hours on end without seeing this major star, whom she described as having killer looks. Undeterred, she held her ground and much later in the day caught sight of this Taiwanese celebrity, who was being hauled unconscious to the room of a big wig in the production.

She was not acting but being used as a drinking partner for the movers and shakers in the business. Even after passing out from binging, she would not be spared but carried to the next stop [supposedly to continue her duty as a toy], said the senior reporter.

She could not bear publishing the story due to its pathetic, degrading nature.

The reporter told of another incident involving a Taiwanese film crew in China that drew the greedy attention of a local gang, who spuriously accused the crew of having damaged a prop sofa as an excuse for extortion. After being paid off in a unacceptably meager sum, the gang set about nailing shut all the windows and doors of the set to lock in the film crew. The local police who were called said that the Taiwanese crew should have been paid more generously. The incident eventually made shooting the film impossible to force the crew to abandon the project.

Stories of the casting couch in showbiz abound, which is further confirmed by this Taiwanese reporter’s exposé.

However Taiwan-sympathizers should not feel indignant after reading the above to think such incident is nationality-relevant.

I personally know of this attractive Taiwan-born woman who, at the behest of mom, was told to quit further education after high school in Canada in the 1970s. With family well-connected in Taiwan, this young woman was virtually handed over to a Taiwanese TV executive as a toy, the price of admission to stardom.

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