Well isn’t this an entertaining way to end 2020. Popular author / screenwriter / director Guo Jingming‘s second novel Never-flower in Never-dream was found by the court to have plagiarised Zhuang Yu’s In and Out of the Circle in 2003, yet has never admitted or apologised for plagiarism until today. Guo published a Weibo post at 12am describing it as an “unhealable wound” he was “loathe to face”.
Guo Jingming had offered to pay Zhuang Yu all the royalties he earned from selling Never-flower in Never-dream or alternatively if she didn’t accept his offer, he would donate all his profit to charity.
Right on the heels of Guo Jingming’s apology, controversial producer / screenwriter Yu Zheng (Schemes of a Beauty, Palace, Story of Yanxi Palace) has also belatedly apologised to Qiong Yao for plagiarising Plum Blossom Scar. In 2014, a landmark ruling in favour of Qiong Yao meant Palace 3: The Lost Daughter would no longer be distributed or broadcast. Cfensi covered initial details of the dispute here.
The most popular theory on Weibo is that they have only apologised to avoid being caught by the stricter laws coming into effect on January 1, and the consequences from the boycott by 111 industry insiders. The public letter was organised by screenwriters Yu Fei (The People’s Justice), Song Fangjin (Cell Phone) and Wang Hailin (Meteor Shower, King’s War). The latter two are known for being open critics of “little fresh meat” actors.
Only time will tell whether Yu Zheng and Guo Jingming’s apology and the open letter will create any positive change in the Chinese entertainment industry.