Zhang Yimou sets a bad example

Updated: 2013-12-04 07:56

(China Daily)

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An open letter from well-known film director Zhang Yimou's office acknowledges that he and his wife Chen Ting have three children, two sons and a daughter, and says that he will accept any punishment for breaching the family planning policy. The letter also says that he apologizes for the bad example he has set as a public figure. But it remains to be seen whether the public will accept his apology and forgive him for violating the family planning norm, says an article on gmw.cn. Excerpts:

Celebrities like Zhang Yimou do not care much about public acceptance when it comes to accepting their apologies for breaking rules, including family planning rules. On the contrary, they use every opportunity to grab the headlines. That's why many people think Zhang may be using his violation of the family planning norm to promote his new film to be released next year.

People are paying special attention to Zhang's case because they want everyone to be equal in the eyes of law. Although everyone, Zhang included, who violates the law should be punished, many celebrities get away with such violations without either being penalized or suffering a setback in their career or both. That is just the opposite of what an ordinary citizen faces.

The public is miffed with Zhang because it wants social equality and rues the failure of the government in imposing rules. A couple that have a second child in violation of the family planning policy have to undergo a rather complex procedure from recording childbirth, household registration and clarifying how they intend to take care of its education. How could Zhang have evaded questioning on these fronts?

Zhang has damaged social credibility and the government's image. And the public is concerned about how long such actions will go unpunished. While expecting more and better works from Zhang, the public also hopes that he pays for violating the family planning policy.