Internet

Meng Guangmei and Toiletgate: The latest Chinese Internet swarm

tu_4.jpg
Meng Guangmei dissing on China's toilets
The latest incident to outrage China's Internet users is being dubbed 'Toiletgate' (厕所门) by some Chinese fourm posters. A Taiwanese model named Meng Guangmei (孟广美) who came to the Mainland ten years ago and built a career as a TV presenter and entertainer was invited to be a guest on Taiwanese talk show Hongse Fengbao (红色风爆). During the show, she talked about public toilets on the Mainland, saying that previously Mainland toilet didn't have doors, and mentioning some toilets near Tiananmen Square where she saw a hundred pale "asses".

An annoyed forum writer put up a post about how Meng has been happy to earn money from the Mainland for the last ten years, but now goes around outside saying bad things about the PRC. Sina republished the post on their home page (another Sina report here) as did several other websites such as Mop.com.


Miss Meng on Taiwanese TV
Video of the Taiwanese talk show has also been posted to Mainland Youtube imitator Yoqoo (watch in small frame to the left, or click here to watch on Yoqoo) and to U

While some of the comments about Meng point out that there are indeed many awful toilets in China, others say that it is highly unlikely that a Phoenix TV presenter and celebrity such as Meng would ever use such toilets, so she was having fun on Taiwanese TV at the expense of Mainlanders.

Meng has apparently lost a job because of the uproar -- that's what she says at the end of this video in which she defends herself against her critics.

It is interesting to note that websites like Sina are becoming more and more powerful: from the Foxconn case to Meng Guangmei, Sina's editorial decisions have a lot of influence over Chinese Internet opinion. The video sharing sites are also playing an increasingly influential role.

Note: this post was updated several hours after it was first published.

UPDATE: The part where Meng talks about the toilets is not in the clip above; you can watch it here.

UPDATE 2: For much more detail and commentary on this case, see Sun Bin: Feeling the China Elephant 盲人摸象

Danwei Noon Report is cancelled today in protest at bad toilets, and bad people saying things about toilets

There are currently 20 Comments for Meng Guangmei and Toiletgate: The latest Chinese Internet swarm.

Comments on Meng Guangmei and Toiletgate: The latest Chinese Internet swarm

This is fascinating - it couldn't possibly be nationalist indignation, as she is from Taiwan... but when push comes to shove... we see what happens!

If a mainlander said the same, would anyone notice? Oops, mainlanders and Taiwanese are the same!

I've only lived in Beijing for 3 years, so I don't know how bad condition toilets are in those times.

However I know that today, a public toilet with no cleaning lady cleaning it every 5 minutes like those in McDonald's, isn't a pleasant experience either...

...Back to the topic, I hate most Taiwan shows. I would rather watch Jerry Springer re-runs over those. Most guests in those Taiwan shows are no more sophisticated then those in Jerry’s show, where 2 fat ladies fight over their unemployed boyfriend who still lives with his mom.

I don’t understand why Chinese mainlanders get so upset because of some brain dead woman’s comment. Mainlander’s over-reaction only fuels that woman’s story to be more credible. I was born in Taiwan, and lived there till the age of 14, and I don’t even know who the hell she is.

[EDITOR'S NOTE (JG): Comment edited to eliminate toilet-related matter]

Hi,

Could you please add a link to the info about Meng Guangmei loosing her job?

[EDITOR'S NOTE (JG): She says it herself near the end of the video link added to the article.]

Sorry to speak in Chinese

我想有网民们愤怒的原因有两点:

1 我不知道在大陆有任何一个厕所可以容得下上百人同时使用,所以我认为这个女人是在用不实之言哗众取宠。

2 中国人的传统观念是“拿人钱财,与人消灾”,所以在大陆人看来,这种一边赚大陆人的钱,一回头又靠说大陆坏话博镜头的做法是不道德的。

不过20年前中国的厕所确实是很可怕的,说外国旅游者上中国的厕所有三步曲:

一叫 二跳 三逃。这是事实,但你不可能在天安门找到这样的厕所。

quite hilarious show:) there is sort of a chauvinistic tone (not unlike that of Shanghainese toward henan/anhui though), and most of the examples (including the 100 white butts in shanghai in 1997) were dated.

danwei was quite precise in "lose A job", not lose "her" job.

these artists have many jobs at hand, what she lost might be the appeareance in one opening ceremony of a shopping arcade, or a commercial, or a MC, or one show. she still has many jobs at hand, at least when the recording was made.

IMHO she was too defensive in her response, threatening legal action is not going to help her image even if the accusation was not justified. the better repsonse would be
1) apologies for the misunderstanding, and her unscrupulous use of language
2) clarify what she really meant and explain the context, she sort of did it, but better let a PR person do it in writing, plus an original transcript of what she said in the show.

i think she said People's Park in Shanghai, not TAM in BJ.

1) Mop has a pretty interesting presentation, organizing selected comments from 2 camps separately. this should be a good source for you guys. :)

2) the sina links seems to be comment and video only.
screenshot is here
http://dzh2.mop.com/topic/readSub_7011015_0_0.html

3) it seems most people did not really object to the 'interesting' toilet comments, instead they focused on his comments regarding anti-japanese demonstration last year, and on 'nanjing massacre"

You know, there are some bad toilets even in the States, like at the side of a highway in a gas station in buttf*** nowhere. But I think the whole point of this issue is that Mainland people just have a hard time admitting the truth. HEY GUYS... YOU GOT BAD TOILETS, but they are improving over 8 years ago when I first came to China. So way to go, China!! Slowly... surely ever improving! but stop looking like such big babies and crying about it when someone points out that your toilets need work.

If you think this is bad, you should see what i discovered at the China Daily.

Getting angry over "bad toilets" is just another example of the extreme sensitivity of chinese people. And not being able to accept some healthy criticism is a big barrier to self-improvement. Chinese public toilets are indeed bad, even hai gui hate them. Accept the hint and get to work on making them better.

Meng is not entirely wrong - she may have exaggerated but the truth is - there is still an abundance of disgusting toilets in China - I would rather have my spleen burst than use a public toilet in China (even the paid ones) - Great strides have been made in China when it comes to basic amenities - but when it comes to behavioural norms, such as closing the toilet door, some locals still do not understand basic toilet "etiquette"

Yes, there are some bad toilets in the US but one should not feel obligated to say that just to say the truth about the toilets in China. The US gets ripped on daily but we don't storm out in the streets protesting about it. We have other things to do. Chinese are too sensitive. My Chinese students have no problems stating what is wrong with the US, even though they have never been there. I have never seen a turd left on the floor in the US but I have in China.

Ah come on, going to take a dump in China is, like everything else, meant to be a social affair. As I'm sure you know the word privacy doesn't translate accurately because the concept is different here, and probably it's different because there is no privacy in China. So pay your 1 yuan, squat between those waist-high walls, light up a cigarette, and pass one to the dude taking care of business across from you. Ask him/her how it is, if you like. The stigma of dump-taking as dirty and embarrassing activity needs to be overcome, and I think China is well on its way in this respect. Jia you, China. Let's all learn to squat and *thrust* harmoniously.

I don't think Meng lied, and agreed with LfC that she may have exaggerated a bit, and used a somewhat condescending tone in her comments. IMO her disaster only started when she defended in front of the camera.

I watched the first part now. To Meng's (and the 2 male guests) credit she actually corrected the rumours of triad gangster hijacking artists. She said it is impossible is major cities like BJ, SH; even in small cities it is usually a bad approach to commercial dispute.

But nobody mentioned this.

---
However, I couldn't find her comments on Nanjing massacre in the videos.

I watched a clip on Taiwanese news and it's not that she was critical of toilets but her sneering description. She's really ugly on the inside and has vulgar arm movements. I'm not a Mainland Chinese but I was completely turned off by her and frankly, if I had the power, I would gladly fire her from any job she was assigned: that's how negatively I feel about her after seeing the clip.

She looks exactly like the girl who got killed in Red Corner after mating with Richard Gere.

It's not the toilets that made people on the mainland angry. In fact, no one would disagree with her on some of the toilets in China.

The reason why she might never work in China again is because of when she said about Nanjing.

It's like saying the Holocaust isn't so bad to people in Israel.

i haven't watch that cheap political drama red corner. the movie review was pretty bad.
but she IS the actress in the movie, the only movie she starred in.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0579534/

Well, she was kind enough to show her boobies in 'Red Corner.'

I can understand her situation. I myself have written many constructive critism for Americans, but instead of taking my advice and improve themselves, I have been labeled as an anti-American.

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