Sat, Aug 27, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Gay club video row envelops TV host

TURN BACK THE CLOCK:One netizen said the incident was similar to the 1990s, when a hidden-camera video from a gay bar caused one of the patrons to kill herself

By Chen Pei-ling  /  Staff Reporter

TV show host Belle Yu, right, is seen with entertainer Lin Yu-chih, better known as Na Dou, last month.

Photo: Chen Hui-chen, Taipei Times

TV show host Belle Yu (于美人) has come under fire from netizens for showing footage shot at a gay bar without the consent of the bar’s manager.

On Aug. 19, her show Yi Tian Yi Ping Guo (一天壹蘋果) on Next TV aired an episode called “Gay Paradise (同志天堂)” using footage shot at a gay bar called Gstar with a hidden video camera, and phrases such as “soft caressing,” “passionate hugging,” “non-consensual touching” and “totally naked” were included in the subtitles.

The bar’s manager, surnamed Shih (施), posted a message on Facebook on Tuesday criticizing the show’s content, saying the producers used footage shot by a hidden camera and even arranged for workers at the bar to hit on customers to fake a report on how homosexuals make friends.

Shih accused Yu of “putting her conscience on the shelf” by hosting the show, adding that he would not rule out seeking legal action against the show.

The incident also sparked furious comments online.

“Yu is a strong, highly educated and knowledgeable career woman. Can she be so lacking in judgement that she does not know what she can do and not do?” one netizen wrote.

“Show hosts with high EQs [emotional quotient] and good educations, but who put their conscience aside, should be lambasted,” another one wrote.

Another netizen wrote that “non-consensual videotaping made me want to spit blood, it’s like going back to the 90s when Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳) used a hidden camera at a lesbian bar.”

The writer was referring to an incident in 1993, when Chu, then a Taiwan Television reporter, slipped into a lesbian bar and filmed the interior for a report, causing the bar to later close down and one of the patrons to commit suicide because of social pressure after she was “outed” by the video.

Yu has previously said she would be accepting if her son or daughter turned out to be gay or lesbian.

Lotus Wang (王彩樺), a singer under Yu’s wing, has also said at a recent concert in a gay bar that Yu “is the most friendly TV show host toward homosexuals in Taiwan.”

In response to the uproar, show producer Chen Chih-hung (陳志鴻) said he would humbly accept all criticism by netizens and would be more careful in the future.

On Thursday, Yu said the production crew had full control over the filming and editing of the show and that she had little control at the front stage.

Yu was quoted by local media as saying that she considered herself to be very friendly toward homosexuals and that she felt sad she was misunderstood and would like to apologize for the negative impression the show might have given about homosexuals.

Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer

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