The National Communications Commission (NCC) confirmed yesterday that it has received more than 500 complaints over CtiTV’s talk show News Tornado (新聞龍捲風) after one of its invited guests used allegedly contemptuous terms to describe a female participant in the Sunflower movement in an episode aired on Friday.
Huang Chin-yi (黃金益), director of the commission’s communication content department, said the content from the episode will be delivered to an independent content review committee for review.
The program upset many netizens after one of the guests, Peng Hua-gan (彭華幹), commented on the appearance of a female participant named Johanne Liou (劉喬安) in the March 30 demonstration against the government’s handling of the agreement.
Many filed online complaints to the commission over the weekend, which at one point made it difficult to refresh the Web page.
In his description, Peng specifically mentioned that Liou wore a “provocative” low-cut shirt, hot pants and thigh-high boots, which he said made her look “super hot.”
He moved his hands over the photograph as if to suggest he was going to unbutton her shirt.
“I know democracy is a non-negotiable asset, but who cares about the service trade pact after we see you?” Peng said.
A netizen named Kuo Huai-chin (郭懷今) said she could not bear to watch the program because the commentator was “super gross and shameless,” adding that the media outlet was garbage and a national disgrace.
Another netizen identifying himself as Hong Jr. Chen said that the “smear campaign” was a strategy of the Want Want China Times Group, to which CtiTV belongs, and was intended to denigrate the student movement.
In response to Peng’s remarks, Liou posted on Facebook that she did not intend to draw people’s attention to her or to her attire.
“I was wearing short suit trousers, not hot pants. The shirt was designed that way. I had buttoned up my shirt completely and wore a vest inside. I didn’t want to expose too much of my thighs so I wore thigh-high boots,” she wrote.
“I just turned 29 yesterday [Saturday]. If I wanted to become famous, I would have done it 10 years ago. I was there purely to support the students. I was touched that they are standing up for what they believe in and refusing to make compromises,” she added.
CtiTV issued a statement saying the program used only “normal” and “positive” terms to describe the woman.
“What the commentator said was all factually correct and he did not use any derogatory terms... It was then followed with terms used by men to express their admirations for the woman online,” the statement said.