[Note: Other media outlets have reported that the show is called “Naked Marriage” but it is listed as “Naked Wedding” in Chinese Drama fan sites/Wikis. In any case, its Chinese name is 裸婚时代 or Luo Hun Shi Dai]
Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie made big headlines and broke records, but in a sign of just how powerful Chinese social media site Weibo has gotten, an apology by a Chinese actor is threatening to beat Ellen DeGeneres’ record.
Actor Wen Zhang penned an open letter on the Chinese social media site, apologizing to his fans, children and wife, Ma Yili, for an affair with his co-star on the popular TV show Naked Marriage, Yao Di.
How close is it to breaking Ellen’s record? The Oscar selfie post was retweeted 1.3 million times. The letter posted by Wen Zhang has been Forwarded, Weibo’s version of Retweeting or sharing, 1.2 million times. It also has 1.8 million comments and over 820,000 likes.
Naked Marriage is about a young couple growing up in China that couldn’t afford a lavish wedding or a ring or anything else. Naked weddings are a growing trend in China for young people, and the show has apparently been a hit (at least enough of one to make the co-stars’ affair big news). Wen Zhang plays Liu Yi Yang while Yao Di plays Tong Jia Qian. I’m not into dramas, much less dramas in a language I don’t understand, but there must have been some chemistry between the two young actors, because it spilled out of the sets and into the bedroom (or Love Hotel, whatever the case might be).
According to a translation provided by the Hollywood Reporter, part of Zhang’s message read “Today, I am willing to accept all the consequences. I’ve let down Ma Yili and our children. My mistake does not deserve to be forgiven, and it will be difficult for me to make amends for all the harm I’ve caused. But I want to do it. I have to do it. This is what I’ll do for the rest of my life.”
His wife, who is pregnant with their second child. responded to the note with a simple word of advice “Being in love is easy, being married is not. It is to be cherished.”
Ma Yili’s father also posted a letter in his Weibo debut, but Google’s translate was so
Up and coming actor, cheats on beautiful wife with his even more beautiful co-star who is married to him in the fiction that defines his career (and in the minds of the public, him) it isn’t hard to see why such a story would be popular, but it is a powerful indicator of China’s social media rise.
Most actors would love to break social media records, but this probably isn’t the way Wen Zhang wanted to do it. For the record, the Chinese actor has more than 52 million “followers” on the site. Granted, followers are easy to come by on the site. I signed up so I could access posts behind Weibo’s wall, and ended up with 19 followers, despite not speaking a lick of Chinese. I suspect they may be bots.
If you are curious if the Chinese enjoy April Fool’s Day, a popular post on Weibo right now claims to have a picture of the affair in action, but when users click on the blurry image they are instead treated with an image of former NBA star Yao Ming. Yao Di, Yao Ming, get it? Many users mentioned April Fool’s Day in the comment section of the image.
Anyway, Ellen is going to need to post some new selfies if she wants to defend her crown.
[Photo Credit: Sina]