Fri, Jan 21, 2011 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff Reporter

The dust has yet to settle for Selina Jen’s friends and fans.

Photo: Taipei Times

The big news this week was the re-emergence of pop star Selina Jen (任家萱). Not that she’s really been out of the picture since she suffered burns to 54 percent of her body after an accident while shooting a film in Shanghai. The traumatic nature of her injuries and the passionate support that her circumstances have generated among fans have given the whole episode the air of a soap opera. For her first appearance in public after 88 days on Wednesday, the media was geared up for a feeding frenzy.

Chen Ming-chang (陳銘章), the director of I Have a Date With Spring (我和春天有個約會), the film which was being shot when the accident took place, has maintained a low profile since the mishap. This has not proven a particularly effective strategy, for he has been accused of shirking his responsibilities and generally acting like a wimp. He recently made matters worse by posting an extended 2,000 word public apology online. Jen’s friends and fans have jumped on this as a further example of his spinelessness — he has yet to stand forth and face the full wrath of the press pack — but he has also managed to anger fans of Yu Haoming (俞灝明), Selina’s costar who was also injured in the incident. Yu remains in Shanghai undergoing treatment.

Chen has responded by saying that he didn’t make sufficient mention of Yu in the apology simply because it was written in response to reports of Jen’s imminent release from hospital. Fans of both victims are far from appeased. Nevertheless, Chen may lose his position as arch villain after online posts by the assistant director, cameraman and others dismissing Jen’s fans as “crazy people.”

It has been suggested that Chen already has another project in the works, and the apology was just his way of moving on from what he probably hopes is just a hiccup in his career.

TV show host and Chen Ming-chang’s friend Chen Wei-min (陳為民) fanned the flames with an ill-advised blog posting that contained comments like: “I know you’re famous. I know you’ve had a hard time. But is it right to attack people like that?” and “He is at fault, but the fault is not all his. Are you going to make accusations at his superiors?” Although the posts made no reference to Jen or Chen Ming-chang, the timing has made the association unavoidable. Chen Wei-min has since denied that the posts referred to Jen, but this hasn’t stopped him from coming under attack for using the incident to gain media exposure for himself.

Subsequent speculation has suggested that the posts might actually have been directed at Ella Chen (陳嘉樺), Selina’s bandmate from S.H.E, who has been particularly harsh in her criticism of Chen Ming-chang for his delay of nearly three months before making a public apology. Will the truth ever be known? The way all those involved are micro-blogging their every thought and action, there is plenty of grist for the gossip mill.

On the bright side, Jen’s fiance Richard Chang (張承中) has stood steadfastly by her through this difficult time. According to Now.com, Jen’s father even broached the subject of calling off the engagement in the light of his daughter’s terrible injuries, but Chang wasn’t looking for a way out. Although Chang was not at Jen’s side for her first press conference, her father was full of praise for his future son-in-law.

At the press conference, Linda Ho (何燕玲), general manager of HIM International Music (華研國際音樂), said that negotiations were still in progress with Hunan TV (湖南衛視), the Chinese TV station who had commissioned I Have a Date With Spring, about compensation.

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