Qiong Yao Accuses Yu Zheng of Plagiarism

Qiong Yao vs. Yu Zheng
Qiong Yao vs. Yu Zheng

To no one’s surprise, producer-screenwriter Yu Zheng is being accused yet again of plagiarism. This time, the charge comes from well-known novelist Qiong Yao, who claims that his currently airing drama, Palace 3 (宫锁连城), copied her novel-turned-1993-series Plum Blossom Scar (梅花烙). The event then spurred on a number of accusations toward Yu Zheng for copying varying works, including by former scriptwriters.

Qiong Yao, whom readers may know best as the creator of Princess Returning Pearl/My Fair Princess (还珠格格), published an open letter to SARFT on Sina Weibo on Tuesday afternoon. In this lengthy indictment, she writes that she was preparing to remake Plum Blossom Scar, with an anticipated 2015 broadcast, only to discover that Palace 3 was a copy of her own story.

The similarities between the two series have not gone unnoticed by viewers. Even Palace 3 actress Shirley Dai commented that Yu Zheng’s work was born out of Plum Blossom Scar, a scandal that caused a fallout between Yu Zheng and Dai. Both plots involve a switcheroo of the two main characters as a result of a preference for boys, and a similar love triangle between the three leads, although Yu Zheng’s series branches away then by doing a remix of Painted Skin II by having the two lead females switch skins.

Qiong Yao claims that this incident has caused her to fall ill from anger and that she has stopped all work, including a screenplay for her own adaptation, for which she has already completed 25 episodes. Her daughter-in-law, who serves as the manager of Qiong Yao’s mainland-based production company New Image, contacted Hunan TV, the almost exclusive broadcaster of the company, to ask the channel to halt the broadcast of Palace 3, but it was to no avail.  Qiong Yao also asked her supporters to boycott Palace 3, in order to protest Yu Zheng’s lack of respect for copyright.

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