Thu, Aug 05, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Demos Chiang’s criticism of young people draws fire

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Internet users and labor activists yesterday panned celebrity designer Demos Chiang (蔣友柏) over his recent criticism of people under 30 years of age.

The 34-year-old founder of Dem Inc said in a recorded video interview with the magazine Cheers earlier this week that he “would not interview job applicants under 30 years of age, because they are “horrible” and “irresponsible.”

“Everyone under 30 years old is helpless — I wouldn’t hire any of them,” Chiang said in the video clip posted on the Internet. “It’s the same thing for my clients, I don’t talk to [clients] under 30 years old.”

He said that people under 30 years old do not work hard enough and would be eliminated through competition.

His remarks immediately drew fire from labor activists and the nation’s Netizens.

An executive member of Youth Labor Union 95 Hu Meng-yu (胡孟瑀) said that, although Chiang’s remarks reflected his personal opinion rather than official company policy, “this kind of discrimination could still influence their hiring decisions in one way or another.”

“What he said about people under 30 years old doesn’t make much sense, since he was only in his 20s when he founded his own company,” Hu said. “Plus, if people are helpless when they are under 30, do they automatically become better people when they enter their 30s?”

Taiwan Labor Front secretary-general Son Yu-lian (孫友聯) said Chiang’s remarks constitute age discrimination.

“He may have hired a horrible employee who’s under 30, but one or two cases cannot represent an entire generation,” Son said.

Netizens mostly reacted negatively to Chiang’s comments.

“A 70-year-old teacher once told me that his parents believed his generation was helpless 50 years ago. Decades have passed, and we still think of young people this way,” Facebook member Lin Cheng-jeng wrote. “Instead of complaining about how helpless young people are, why don’t we think of how to help them? They are the future of the country.”

“Don’t even listen to what he [Chiang] says, who hasn’t been under 30 years old?” another Facebook member, Ginger Chen, wrote.

In response to the criticism, Chiang, through Dem Inc’s public relations department, said his remarks had been taken out of context, and that the full interview was available in the print version of the magazine, which hit newsstands on Sunday.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHEN PEI-LING AND CHIU SHAO-WEN

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