I have always wondered why a “talent” like Makiyo could exist in the entertainment business. She has always struck me as more known because of her, uh, ample assets, and her more famous friends.
I once saw her in Taipei while I was hanging around New York New York in 2010 (before the beloved mall was toppled down). There was a promotional event going on with a handful of people. I got curious and walked over. The hosts were talking to a girl onstage. She looked like someone who was in the ebiz but one look and you know she’s not famous. People were staring past her. No one was jostling or craning their necks to get a glimpse of her. I took photos for future reference and it was only when I returned from the trip and going through the photos I realised it was Makiyo. (The photos, unfortunately, were among the casualties when our layout artist reformatted by external drive.)
The point I am trying to make is… there are stars, and then there are those who want to be stars. Being in the entertainment industry does not make you a star even if you appear on TV or you have MVs to your name. Like anywhere else in this world, there is a hierarchy. There are superstars like Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Andy Lau who are recognised across age groups; there are the younger superstars like Jay Chou, Wang Lee Hom and A-mei who belong to a later generation but also command respect among the older market; there are the “idols” like Jerry Yan and Vic Chou; there are those in the B-list who may trick you to think they are famous because they are everywhere. And there are the wannabes like Makiyo who do not fall into any of those categories, even the last one.
Like I said, I have always wondered why someone like her continue to exist in the industry. There are other girls prettier than her, more endowed ones and with talent to boot. To be fair, I listened to some of her songs just to make sure I’d keep things fair. She can sing but that does not mean she is good at it. Again, having an album does not make you a singer.
But then, one does not really need to wonder. As long as you know which string to pull, or which people to latch on to, you can step into the entertainment industry. Besides, it’s not the cleanest industry in the entire world where there is a level playing field and only those with real talent can make it. It depends on who you know, what you can do and how low you can go. In the case of Makiyo, someone has to do the dirty job that bigger stars won’t do.
And so, she thrived in the business and apparently got it into her head that she is famous and therefore can get away with assaulting a taxi driver like what happened last week. The case first came to light when it was reported that Makiyo’s Japanese friend Tomoyori assaulted the driver. Here’s a summary of what happened on the night of the incident and shortly afterwards.
What bothers me is how Makiyo apparently believed she can get away with the crime by playing the victim (Tomoyori alleged that the driver tried to touch the startlet’s, uh, breasts). Unfortunately, she did not dress the part during her first press conference where she showed up wearing a slinky dress and fully made up. Either her media savvy friends (hello Xiao S) failed to give her the proper advice or all the grey matter that should have gone in between her ears all went to her “ample” assets.
Unfortunately for her, some witnesses surfaced with a different version to the “truth” that Makiyo was trying to peddle to the public. To minimise the damage, she held another press conference, this time dressed down and looking very much like the “victim”, even bringing her cancer-stricken mother to apologise to the driver’s family. See the difference of her look from first and second presscon:
Perhaps Makiyo also thought that her manager or management company–whichever entity has the luck to represent her now–can just sweep this scandal under the carpet as what is common practice in the ebiz. But the domino effect had already started and a video resurfaced apparently showing Makiyo not just goading her Japanese friend to hit the driver, but even joining in the fray. Scary woman, I tell you.
Trust the Taiwan media to do a reenactment and piece the story together based on the videos and eyewitness accounts that have been made:
Bad news for her too since the Internet community in Taiwan has weighed in on the incident and is now calling that she be banned from the country and from the entertainment industry. Her friend (or ex-friend by now?) Blackie Chen has spoken up that Makiyo should be ready with the possibility that her work permit can be revoked. In other words, her so-called friends have now distanced themselves from her because to them, she means bad news. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
This commentary from The China Post on the incident said the reaction of the netizens reflect vitriol culture. When the writer did this article, however, the important evidence in the case have not surfaced yet (or rather, the policeman in charge was sitting on the video and dismissed it as unimportant to the case) and I can only assume that he received his fair share of criticisms from the Internet community prompting him to come up with this.
I do agree though with his observation that the public should not rely on the media to get justice. Or rather, to put it in a clearer way, that the wheels of justice should not turn only when there is media attention to it. It should be part of a country’s judicial system to function by itself with utmost fairness without interference from the press or the public.
Saying that, however, the role of the media in bringing this to light should also be commended. I have said before that I am tired of fans and celebrities alike always turning on the media whenever they get into scandals, and they cry privacy. In this instance, the media has done good by following up on the case, resulting in the police retrieving the video evidence that was crucial to it.
And for those who think that Makiyo is being subjected to trial by publicity, oh please, she was the one who went public and made light of the incident in a scene that if it were in the drama, would have gotten the costume director fired. I agree with this China Daily commentary that it was Makiyo who tried to use her celebrity status to get away with the crime. The backlash on her is just par for the course.
Makiyo faces at least four years prison sentence and her work permit being revoked. If that happens, she is not exactly a loss to the entertainment industry. Not at all.
And it is about time that the public be more circumspect on the celebrities that they support. That is of course in an ideal world where only singers sing, actors act and politicians govern. Now, everyone does everything else simply because we allow it, tolerate it, and worse, encourage it.
To Makiyo, good riddance. One talentless person in the entertainment industry is a relief.
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