World Hopping: Avenge Our Love
First Published on Chaleuria
The marked dates were all dates when the girls would reach maturity. As for those people who left such disturbing comments, calculating the age when the child would be mature… Just what were they planning?
More importantly, these sort of comments had not been left on one picture, but all of the pictures! According to the dates of the uploads and the watermarks on the pictures, 90% of them had been taken in secret by paparazzi. The majority of the pictures were sneak-shots, even of child stars. Official announcement photos or studio shots were rare.
People had a thirst to find out what was hidden after all. The more something was kept secret, and out of sight, the more curious one would become about the truth of what was being kept hidden.
“Bastards! I can’t stand this!”
“Who the heck made this website? We are all human here, so why can’t people just be decent humans?”
“As the mother of two children, I really can’t bear to see such a thing happening. The celebrities might be subject to public attention, but what about their children? Should their children be subject to it too?”
“Man, I used to read this sort of news because it’s interesting. Now I know that my thoughtless actions have such an impact on these children. It’s really too scary. Is it because we see the public opinion in terms which are too simplistic, or is it because the human mind is too complicated?”
People were thunderstruck. At that moment, Picture Domain released an article on their own celebrities’ circumstances as a supporting link to Yuan Yue’s article.
A child singer was stalked twice in the month after a sneak photo was taken. One of those incidents involved a stalker fan, and the stalker fan had planned on hurting the child. If it hadn’t been for the child’s mother’s alertness, and the nanny they had with them, the child would have had something untoward happen for sure.
Another was a child star. Her photo has been uploaded to that website too, and her public image was called into question after her manager had insisted on having the picture taken down. The complaint was that she was practically naked in the drama she acted in, and that it was no different from selling her flesh, so wasn’t she being fake by trying to act innocent? Picture Domain had included a picture of the child star in the drama in question. The netizens saw the picture, and were so angry that they couldn’t speak.
Naked? This child was not yet ten this year, and her wearing a jeans skirt in summer was “naked”? The Qing dynasty’s dead and buried — these people were being unreasonable!
Smaller incidents numbered in the hundreds after careful counting. And these were just reports revealed by the celebrities from one company, Picture Domain. What about those who had not stepped forward to speak out? The true total number was beyond imagination.
Picture Domain has conducted a survey among our celebrities to address the question of whether celebrities’ lives should be up for consumption in the media. The survey included responses from trainees. Almost every talent was of the opinion that they as individuals should be subject to media consumption, as they had chosen to be public figures. They acknowledge and accept that this is how they earn their income, and that this is a basic professional duty as celebrities.
We would like to ask the public some questions today. Should those who become celebrities have their families, their children, open to the media too? If they are unwilling to speak about their families, or if they hide them, should this be considered irresponsible and a fake public persona?
Celebrities do enjoy popularity, but they have also released works which correspond to that attention. To be blunt, celebrities are also commercial products in this age of business.
Even so, the product is just the celebrity himself or herself. That right does the public have to demand that the celebrities’ families and children should be offered up as entertainment, after they have brought you laughs, joy, and entertainment in their work?
What gives you the right to demand such things? Is this fair to the celebrity?
These were merciless questions. Every word, every line, stabbed at the hearts of the netizens, drawing blood. The netizens fell silent after reading the long Weibo post by Picture Domain.
No one commented for a long while.
“Qianchen, is this really going to be okay?” The public relations manager’s hands were trembling after he posted the article on Weibo. He was afraid of the backlash.
Song Yucheng soothed him, saying, “It’s going to be fine. Just wait!”
Sure enough, replies started coming in after a long silence. The first to respond were actually the celebrities. Another entertainment company actually reposted Picture Domain’s Weibo post, and showed strong support in their comment. “I think they don’t have the right! This is not fair to the celebrities!”
The various private management companies of major celebrities stirred too, and they reposted Picture Domain’s post with the comments “No!” and “It’s not fair!”
These issues had built up over time, and the celebrities had tolerated too much, and suffered too much. Of course, there were those who could not be considered innocent. These were celebrities with fan bases mostly made up of male or female fans because they had advertised themselves as the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend material in order to climb the popularity rankings quickly. Cases like these were a result of their own making and they had to bear the consequences of their own decisions.
For celebrities who gained popularity through their hard work and talents, however, this was entirely unfair.
A female celebrity who had just become a mother wrote a long Weibo post with tears in her eyes. She described how paparazzi had sneaked into the hospital in order to take pictures of her daughter. Her child had been undergoing treatment as a newborn with jaundice when the picture had been taken and uploaded to the internet. The public had lambasted the picture, saying the child was ugly and doubting its parentage. These comments had started disputes in her household.
A male celebrity who was also a father spoke up about his son too. His son had a shy personality, and he got along quite well with his classmates before his identity as a celebrity’s son was exposed. After news got out, however, the excessive attention put too much pressure on his son’s mental state, and he had to be transferred to another school in the end, on top of long sessions with a therapist.
Next was a married celebrity couple, with the wife being older. It had not been easy for them to be together, and the pressure from the public had made it even more difficult. If they walked too closely together, they were showing off their lovey-dovey ness on purpose, and if they walked too far apart, they were suspected of having difficulties in their marriage.
“We are celebrities, but we are also normal husband and wife. Can’t we have some understanding?”
More celebrities stepped forward. They defended their families, or complained on their children’s behalf. Each of these posts seemed normal enough, but the amount made the netizens stagger with their weight.
No one had had such clear realisation before, that a celebrity had a right to privacy too. A celebrity’s family was to be respected too. Some netizens, however, felt that the exposure was a good thing!
Look! Your husband or wife was just an ordinary person in the beginning. He or she is famous now after the exposure! As for those celebrity couples, the relationship might not work if one partner was a celebrity and one not, but BOTH of them were public figures! Isn’t it great that you get more attention when you go out together? There will be news whenever there is any change in your marriage too, so isn’t that just perfect?
As for children, well, they’re cute babies. Your mummy or daddy’s a star, so you’ll likely be a child star too. It’s no big deal if your face is revealed early on. Some people even ridiculed the celebrity parent when he or she had altercations with fans or paparazzi when his or her child’s picture was taken.
In the face of so many genuine cases however, the netizens who had spoken lightly of the matter fell silent. They were not just silent, but ashamed too. They were ashamed of their callous attitude towards the harm which had befallen the celebrities’ families.
“I didn’t think so deeply about it, and was just simply curious. I’d never thought that this curiosity would bring so much pain to others.”
“I won’t sit down so readily with popcorn anymore. I felt like crying when I read my goddess’ story about her baby. How could a newborn have such a sin committed against it? Everyone knows how common jaundice in newborns is. It’s too much to call her baby ugly and throw suspicion on her parentage.”
“But why is Picture Domain and Yuan Yue working together? It’s an entertainment company and a paparazzi. Are you kidding me? I think this is a conspiracy.” A so-called voice of rationality raised doubt.
This voice, however, was beaten down by an announcement by Picture Domain before other netizens could rebuke.
It turned out that this posting was triggered by some extremely vile news which Yuan Yue had dug up. There were rumours that there were entertainers who handled child stars in the industry who over-exposed the child star to the public eye. This was done deliberately to attract perverts and stalkers in order to generate news, and gain the sympathy of the masses.
As the public knew, Picture Domain had a trainee system, and also had the most number of child stars in the industry. This was why Yuan Yue had investigated Picture Domain in the beginning. However, he discovered that Picture Domain was a potential victim too. The true problem lay with Double Universe. As for the manager who had conducted the setup to gain attention and sympathy… It was Luo Tong.
Yuan Yue had hammered the nail hard in the coffin. He’d almost completely cracked the foreign website, and found the IP of the photo uploaders, as well as the paid ghostwriter companies or individuals behind them. He published individual posts of the cracking process for these offenders and a final conclusion.
One of these published posts was of an IP which had uploaded the most photos in the past two years. It pointed to a ghostwriting company called Pennycress. The name of the company was unusual and it was not easy to call to mind, but the big owner behind this company was Double Universe!
Yuan Yue was a paparazzi reporter, but he was one of the rare few with professional journalistic standards. The news articles he published were 100% true and based on facts, and he never had to worry about being sued.
On Picture Domain’s end, they published a lawyer’s letter to Luo Tong and Double Universe, suing Luo Tong for violation of the privacy rights of the celebrities of Picture Domain, and malicious priming of perverse attention resulting in harm to underage child stars.
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