Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine triggered an uproar over privacy and sexual bias with a series of articles published on Wednesday alleging that YouTuber Huang Ting-wei (黃挺瑋) had sexual hookups with other men, leading the magazine’s editorial board to pull the offending articles yesterday and issue a public apology.
Huang, better known by his YouTube moniker Wei Wei, has gained fame for videos that he and his brother, both in their 20s, make for their Brother Huangs (黃氏兄弟) channel, which has nearly 1.52 million subscribers.
The magazine said that based on a conversation log Huang had on a dating application, he was gay, and it linked several videos to its stories on its online platform.
Photo: Screengrab from YouTube
Huang responded by posting a video on the Brother Huangs channel in which he telephoned his mother to tell her about coverage and ask for her support.
The magazine initially responded to complaints by saying that it was not biased against Wei Wei due to his sexuality and denying that it had deliberately exposed his sexual orientation, but Mirror Media’s editorial board yesterday said the articles and accompanying videos had contravened the magazine’s long-standing support for sex autonomy and pluralistic values, and that they had been removed from its Web site.
New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) said she was shocked that one year after same-sex marriage was legalized in Taiwan, anyone would have to apologize for their sexual orientation.
“I hope that Taiwanese can respect each other and accept plurality and diversity, to truly accept each individual on their own basis,” she said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) said she hoped the public would refrain from bullying and discriminating against others, and respect the choices of other individuals.
The Gay Rights Equality Coalition on Wednesday said on Facebook that the magazine had stereotyped and slandered gays, and could make the public ignore how progressive and positive gay individuals, and same-sex marriages are.
The articles had invaded Huang’s privacy, the coalition said, adding that it would push the Legislative Yuan to draft an equality act.
It encourages the public and corporate entities to engage in dialogue with gays and push for a “friendly change” in society’s perceptions, it said
The media should respect the privacy of public figures and not cause the LGBT community to live in fear of being outed or the target of a witch hunt, it said.
The Chinese-language United Daily News cited a senior judge, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying that the Mirror Media articles could potentially have contravened the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法).
Huang could be entitled to seek damages from the magazine and its sources, the judge said.
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