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that is associated with 聚言莊﹕The House Where Words Gather.

News Links: Ides of March 2009

Before we get to the links, some observations about the online response to “Gillian Week” as Gillian Chung Yan-Tung returned to the Gillian Chung at an event earlier this week for a clothing companyentertainment circle with an in-depth TVB interview, a press conference, a publicity event and a promotional trip to Taiwan all in the past week.

Based on monitoring the chatter on discussion boards, I would say that about 1/3 of the people are fully supportive of Gillian Chung, 1/3 still view her with scorn and derision and 1/3 are sympathetic but mostly indifferent.  This last group feels bad for Chung and her plight but I don’t think they would go out of their way to support her by buying her products or seeing her films.  I think the key for Ah Gil will be to see how much of this last group she can win over.  It’s too early to say right now if her comeback will be successful but I think it’s safe to say that she won’t be as profitable for EEG as she was prior to the fateful days of January 2008.

One thing is for sure, EEG and EEG-friendly media outlets are trying their hardest to sell the idea that Ah Gil is back and that the public is behind her.  Oriental Daily News ran some transparently biased reports this week suggesting that the crowd at Chung’s publicity event for a clothing store was fully supportive (other media outlets reported that some people were shouting insults) and that Chung had overwhelming support on the Internet even though it’s clear that she doesn’t.

As for the online reaction to her TVB interview, I would say that 30% of the people had a positive response to it while 70% viewed it negatively.  I believe the negative reaction stems from the credibility problems Chung and EEG have after the over-reaction to the EasyFinder photos in 2006, the initial “it’s fake! it’s fake!” response to the first Sexy Photos Gate images and the infamous “naive and stupid” press conference.

The main issue the detractors of the interview had was that it seemed like a staged piece of theatre in support of Gillian Chung’s comeback.  Some noted that while Cecilia Cheung’s interview felt like a free-flowing conversation held in a normal TV studio, parts of Chung’s interview felt like it was scripted by EEG media handlers.  From criticism that the interview was held at EEG boss Albert Yeung’s home (which included the usual snark about Yeung’s relationship with EEG starlets) to allegations that Chung threw Edison Chen under the bus because she saw that Cecilia Cheung received a positive response from doing it, many felt that Gillian Chung was still being fake and disingenuous.  It did not help that there was talk that Chung’s manager, Mani Fok, interfered during the interview by cutting in and limiting discussion of topics such as Chung’s rumoured relationship with Juno Mak Jun-Lung.  (Fok admitted later in the week that she was “acting like a lawyer” during the interview).

Many felt that Gillian Chung didn’t directly answer Stephen Chan’s questions as a hotly debated topic was Chung’s response to a question about her reaction to the EasyFinder scandal.  When Chan hinted that her reaction to the changing room photos may have been overplayed, Chung answered that her response was appropriate because she felt like she had been “raped” and that there was a big difference between consenting to have your picture taken and having your picture taken without your knowledge.  While some felt the answer was sufficient, most felt that Chung dodged the real question.  I think the majority view is best summed up by “Kiwi Pika”, a poster on a Chinese-language discussion board.  My translation of the post:

She didn’t answer the question about the changing room photos properly at all. Saying that it felt like “rape” is an insult to women who have been raped. Please, it’s so far from the same thing! We didn’t see anything! All we saw was a little bit of shoulder. All that crying was really over the top. I think the natural reaction would have been anger. Anyone in a similar situation would feel angry but I don’t think they would feel victimized. The pictures didn’t show anything! She or, more likely, her management decided to take the opportunity to make money from it by milking it for all the sympathy she could get. I find it hard to feel sorry for her because all of this is just karma for making a mountain out of a molehill.

I’ll be back later this week with my thoughts on this whole brouhaha.  Until then, enjoy these links:


The Observer on Sexy Photos Gate

Gillian Chung’s secret romance

Gillian Chung’s press conference: Gillian Chung makes high profile comeback, Gillian the toughie

Gillian Chung goes to Taiwan for promotional event

Gillian Chung admits Juno as boyfriend

Edison Chen gets death threat: Stamps with ’sinister’ meaning QING MING DEADLINEEdison laughs off death threats, Edison Chen receives death threatening letter, Bullet death threat aimed at ChenLetter threatens harm to Chinese-Canadian star involved in racy photos scandal, Edison gets threats

Edison Chen vows: “I’ll come to Singapore again”

Nic Tse pledges undying love for Cecilia Cheung

Cecilia Cheung expecting her second child

Joey Yung expresses full support for Gillian Chung

Summary: A Seemingly Endless Scandal


Jackie Chan starts shooting historical epic

Villagers disrupt ‘Mulan’ shoot

Chow Yun-fat to star in Dadi Century’s Confucius biopic

John Woo to make “Titanic of the East”: article, AFP article

John Woo eyes film on Hard-Boiled game


“Dragonball” Premieres in Tokyo

Will Rain be able to save his Hollywood career?

Jackie Chan cheated of HK$3 million over car deal

Kelvin Kwan, Jill Vidal: Pop pair face more time behind bars

Taipei Times Pop Stop: Edison Chen, more

Hollywood-Asia marriage matures

Zhang Yimou: Insider story of the Beijing Olympic

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival: 10 Glorious Days of Asian American Film

Hong Kong’s Celestial strikes Canadian licensing deal


Chow Yun-Fat: Chow on this!

Heroic pairs in Dragonball: Evolution

F4’s Vanness Wu: Anything for Ang Lee

Jaycee Chan smitten by Bollywood

Rainie Yang: I’m a tomboy around guys

Edmond Chen: Hollywood can be a pain

Chen Kaige: Capturing the best and worst of times

Chen Kaige wants to make Cultural Revolution film


Variety reviews DESIRES OF THE HEART (Ge You, Vivian Wu, Fan Bingbing)


Ann Hui’s NIGHT AND FOG (Simon Yam, Zhang Jingchu)

THE SHINJUKU INCIDENT (Jackie Chan, Daniel Wu)


Gillian Chung’s “Be Tough” ad campaign

Vicki Zhao Wei in Elle Magazine China edition

5 Responses to “News Links: Ides of March 2009”

  1. Jo Says:

    I’m kind of sitting somewhere between scorn and indifference. I never did like her from when Twins first hit the scene (well I didn’t like Twins in general, but Charlene has grown on me a little now), and her insincerity has just added to my dislike.

    However, she really isn’t that important to me so that’s where the indifference comes in. I’d rather spend my time supporting those who I *do* like than berating those I don’t.

  2. Audrey Says:

    Gillian is getting exactly what she deserves. I’ve seen her before in real life and it wasn’t pretty. A few years ago, she came to Sydney for a concert and some publicity functions. After one of the functions, a friend and I saw her shopping at David Jones with two assistants. We watched as fans, some of them kids, went up to her to say hi and tell her that they were fans. She completely snubbed them. She didn’t say a word to them, she didn’t even look at them or acknowledge their presence. She ignored them and walked away while her assistants pushed the fans away. I’ve never seen a celebrity act like such a snob before and I’ve seen plenty of celebrities in real life like Andy Lau, Leon Lai, Leo Koo, Kelly Chen, Richie Ren and Myolie Wu. Andy and Kelly even let me take a picture with them. None of those people ignored their fans, they all stopped to chat or sign autographs and take pictures. Only Gillian was mean so that’s why I have no sympathy for her. Karma’s a bitch.

  3. Tracy Says:

    What’s so great about her? She’s a snob as mentioned above. She was ok in her prime with Charlene but she’s now easily replaceable because of the scandal.
    It would have been a good opportunity to bring in a fresh faced star instead of going through all this!

  4. darren Says:

    i used to love ah gil but not very much anymore and its not even because of the scandal, its how manufactured she comes across, as if shes not even a real person, just a puppet, that and it annoys me they all want apologies from edison……um it takes two people to take those pics…………

  5. m Says:

    I find Gillian is like those people who can’t accept the relationship is over and they need to move on. If the problem was just the naked pictures it would not be too bad but on top of the overcrying over the EasyFinder photos and the interviews she did, it is just too much. I don’t think her comeback will be successful.

    Same thing apply to Edison. Naked pictures of him with an actress could be forgiven but there were too many pictures of too many actresses. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen