Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chou Wei-you (周威佑) yesterday apologized to National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) president Wu Yan-hwa (吳妍華) over inappropriate comments he made last week.
“I want to express my sincerest apologies to Wu, her family, the NCTU, all the women in the country and the public. I also promise never again to make a statement that is so malicious and humiliating,” Chou told a press conference yesterday, during which he bowed three times in apology.
“If Wu gives me a chance, I want to apologize to her in person,” Chou added.
Chou said he would accept responsibility if Wu takes legal action against him and pay any penalties issued by the DPP.
He said that his comment was a result of being upset over Wu’s apology to police officers during the Sunflower movement, in which she said that the NCTU had “failed to teach students well,” a statement that drew criticism from the university community, prompting a petition to remove her from office.
In a Facebook post on April 11 Chou wrote: “If you [Wu] want to be a whore for the people in power, you may be better off getting screwed by dogs.”
Drawing fire from women’s rights advocacy groups around the country, Chou said that he realized that no one deserves such a statement, that there was no excuse for it and all he can do is apologize.
Chou said that his attempts to contact Wu have been fruitless, but he would continue to try.
Wu issued a statement condemning Chou after his apology over his remarks.
Wu said that she feels saddened to see Chou hurting her, her family, NCTU faculty and students, residents of Taipei and women generally with such malicious remarks.
She added that she would consult a lawyer before deciding whether to file a lawsuit against Chou.
Meanwhile, the presidents of several private and public universities across the country — Association of National Universities chairman Yang Hung-duen (楊弘敦), Association of National Universities and Institutes of Technology chairman Yao Leeh-ter (姚立德), Association of Private Universities chairman Lee Tien-rein (李天任) and Association of Private Universities and Institutes of Technology chairman Ko Tzu-hsiang (葛自祥) — issued a joint condemnation of Chou.
“In a free, democratic and civilized society, we fully respect diversity of opinions. However, we do not like to see people being verbally assaulted just because they hold different views,” the statement said.
“Such verbal violence has deeply hurt not only the person targeted, but also society, and we severely condemn it,” the statement added.