Taiwanese have launched a sarcastic “Say sorry to China” contest on social media after a Chinese filmmaker replaced a local actor for allegedly supporting Taiwanese independence.
The contest on Facebook has attracted more than 24,000 followers and 6,000 posts since Saturday, organizers said.
Netizens have been apologizing to Beijing for a wide variety of reasons — from calling Taiwan a country to eating Japanese food and using iPhones.
“I suggest everybody say sorry to almighty China before dinner every night. We should all thank the Chinese for giving us food and letting us know China’s greatness,” read one scathing post.
The contest came after award-winning Taiwanese director and actor Leon Dai (戴立忍), a known supporter of the 2014 Sunflower movement, was dropped by Chinese director Zhao Wei (趙薇) from her movie No Other Love (沒有別的愛) for allegedly supporting Taiwan’s independence.
Zhao said in a statement on a Chinese microblogging site that Dai was replaced for failing to clarify his political stance.
She offered a sincere apology for “using the wrong person.”
“We are all Chinese and we firmly uphold our mother country’s unification objective... We cannot tolerate any falsity and ambiguity, especially regarding national interests,” Zhao said.
Dai later issued a statement saying he is “deeply sorry” to the film’s investors and crew for his past behavior causing controversy, adding that he does not advocate Taiwanese independence.
Wang Yi-kai (王奕凱), an active participant in the Sunflower movement protests, said he launched the Facebook contest “to mock China’s suppression and bullying” of entertainers.
Some Chinese agreed.
“I am a Chinese netizen. I am sorry that there are so many brain-damaged [people] in China, but most people are not like that and we support Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜),” read one post.
Chou, a 16-year-old Taiwanese K-pop singer, was in January forced to apologize for waving a Republic of China (ROC) national flag during an Internet broadcast, which stoked online anger in China and accusations that she was a pro-independence advocate.
Her video apology went viral on Jan. 16, when Taiwan held its presidential and legislative elections. Some analysts believe it might have cost the Beijing-friendly Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) hundreds of thousands of votes.
Pop diva Madonna sparked anger in China after draping herself in an ROC flag during a concert in Taipei in February.
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