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2020-12-22 09:54:05

More than 100 insiders from China’s television industry are calling for variety shows to stop extending invitations to guests who have been implicated in plagiarism scandals.

In an open letter Monday, 111 screenwriters, directors, and producers said shows featuring industry figures with histories of “plagiarism-related misdeeds” as mentors or guests had made them feel “very disgusted” and “extremely indignant.”

The letter, first posted by screenwriters Yu Fei and Song Fangjin, specifically calls out Yu Zheng and Guo Jingming — also screenwriters, as well as directors — for appearing on the competition reality shows “I Am the Actor” and “Everybody Stand By,” respectively.

“Guo and Yu refused to apologize after court verdicts (said they plagiarized), they didn’t make any admission of their behavior, and still such ‘text thieves’ are praised as mentors. … This has had an extremely bad influence on society, and has set a very bad example for young people,” the letter said. “We solemnly call (on shows) to immediately stop publicizing and hyping these ‘bad practitioners.’”

On microblogging platform Weibo, a hashtag about the letter had been viewed more than 360 million times by Tuesday afternoon, with many users leaving supportive comments.

“I support this. Plagiarism in writing, art, and literature is too easy — and truly, we cannot let this become a trend,” one Weibo user commented under a related media post.

The open letter includes the signatures of writer Zhuang Yu and Chiung Yao, the pen name of a renowned romance novelist. Both won plagiarism suits against Guo and Yu.

In 2006, Guo and his publishing house were ordered to pay Zhuang 200,000 yuan (then $25,000) in compensation for stealing her ideas, and in 2014, a Beijing court ruled that Yu had copied the plot of a TV drama called “The Palace 3: The Lost Daughter” from one of Chiung Yao’s novels.

Editor: David Paulk.

(Header image: A combined photo of Yu Zheng (left) and Guo Jingming. People Visual)