I never thought the day would come I’d like Ariel Lin.
What I mean is, I don’t dislike Ariel anymore… that much.
My disliking her is more personal and offscreen more than onscreen. I haven’t watched any of her dramas except It Started With A Kiss, that I failed to finish.
But if I’ll come to really think about it, she is someone I’d typically admire. She has a degree in literature, she likes arts, and most recently, I agree with what she did, protesting the way the media creates unnecessary scandals and complaining about the inhumane conditions in Taiwan’s TV industry. Whether she made these protests as publicity for her new drama is beside the point. The fact that she can speak out against the media–which can be vengeful–and the television industry in general, is worth noting of. This, especially when majority of stars would rather just suck it up and suffer (while bitching privately) and accept the scandalous nature of the industry in selling the drama. I absolutely abhor that system but I abhor more those stars who allow themselves to be “victims” of scandals in order to get publicity, even at the expense of their reputation. It’s akin to selling their soul so they could gain the world. And for what? For fleeting fame that won’t even give them everlasting happiness.
Ariel’s blog on September 2 has created quite a stir.
Here are some translations from AF:
Since mid April to present, I have assumed work involving filming of series that I last undertook over three years ago. In a working environment that I was once very accustomed to, it will appear that after the operation, whilst still very familiar to me, I am unable to adapt with ease as I could a decade ago. What I mean by “adapt”, I do not mean emotionally in this context, but rather physically. To put it simple, the filming environment in Taiwan has never been the best. Overwork and an unhealthy work pace has always been a big issue, contributing to both on and off screen obstacles. I won’t elaborate more on this, but the main point is: after working in this environment for ten years, I feel that I spent half my time working 12-18 hours a day (sometimes even more and often reversing day and night). Each day after returning home from work, I would only have energy to take off my make-up, shower, look at the scripts for the next day’s shoot, say good night (or good morning) to my family and then collapse in utter exhaustion into deep sleep. This type of lifestyle is really not the blueprint that I want to follow in the next ten years or longer.
Side note: It’s not only in Taiwan where this working environment persists though. It happens in South Korea (as evidenced by the recent case of Han Ye-seul and Spy Myungwol), the Philippines and Hong Kong. I’m not sure about Japan, but the point is, there is a need to provide a more conducive environment where artists and crew can work under better conditions. Perhaps establish a union like what they have in Hollywood to protect the rights of artists and workers.
With regards to certain media using “rumors has it…”, “suspicions…”, and other such uncertain terms to pen negative news content, I sincerely ask: “if there is proof please offer it to be ratified! Else don’t manufacture lies to sell stories.” A person’s reputation is set in a direction the moment you pen these thoughts, and we might need to spend a very long time to prove that we are not as depraved as per your descriptions. But then again, why should we have to prove otherwise? A person’s financial situation, marital status or physical wellbeing should be within a person’s right to keep private. As long as it does not affect national security, a societies’ rights and safety, even a public figure has the right to keep these matters private, let alone a person who is not in the entertainment industry?!?
Side note: I like how she used national security to drive home her point. Although I am also amused when stars invoke their right to privacy when something is inconvenient for them but when it will help boost their stock, they don’t have such reservations. I’m not saying that applies in Ariel’s case, but there are stars who enjoy the fame yet they don’t want to take the responsibility that comes with it, which is to avoid being caught in scandals if they don’t want their faces on Next magazine and Apple Daily. And then they lie in the end to get out of the sticky situation. So do they ever wonder why the media has to resort to “rumors” and “suspicions”? They can’t even be honest and yet they want fair treatment. Again, I’m not saying this applies to Ariel but I’m talking in general.
Some reporters’ tone in recent articles has also been particularly malicious. The use of strong, indecent sexual insinuations in their article title has tarnished a series that has not yet been premiered, a series that is the culmination of a great deal of hard work by a group of top professionals. This is a slight on all the professional input by everyone in the cast which is very frustrating!
Side note: I can imagine her frustration and I bet other stars are also frustrated that in order to sell a drama, one has to resort to scandals to get noticed instead of relying on the strength of the project itself. It only goes to show that the Asian audience is not mature yet. But perhaps Ariel needs to be reminded too that many times before, she has been party to “malicious articles”. Two words: Joe Cheng. In order to sell their tandem, how many “malicious reports” have come out? She’s not exactly innocent on this, neither are many other artists. And for an audience, it also gets very frustrating for me to read cooked-up scandals that obviously are meant to sell the drama. So who’s to blame? The media? The networks who want them for ratings? The artists who allow themselves to be used this way? Or the audience for buying hook, line and sinker that two stars currently appearing in any given series are falling for each other and dating? If you’re to ask me, it’s sickening.
But Ariel still deserves some shoutout for doing what she did, especially deciding to quit doing TV dramas, which she hasn’t done in three years by the way. Idol dramas make the stars in Taiwan, not those films. But quitting while ahead of the game is always a wise decision. And quitting for love is worth the admiration.
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