Gender News in Taiwan
A #Metoo wave is sweeping Taiwan, thanks to a Netflix hit

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Five years after #MeToo took the world by storm, Taiwan, a liberal democracy that has prided itself on gender equality, is facing its own reckoning over sexual harassment – brought about by a hit Netflix series.

The series, “Wave Makers,” follows the fictitious lives of a team of campaign staffers in the run-up to a presidential election in Taiwan. Though branded as a political drama, it is the show’s sexual harassment plot line that has attracted the most attention and made waves in real life.

Since late May, the show has sparked more than a dozen real-life #MeToo accusations involving political figures on the self-ruling island, as it too gears up for a presidential election in January. 

With tensions between Taipei and Beijing running at their highest in decades, the fallout from the #MeToo revelations risks adding more uncertainty to the all-important presidential race.

The allegations have rocked the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), prompting resignations in its upper ranks and public apologies from President Tsai Ing-wen.

“As the former party chairman, I should bear full responsibility,” Tsai wrote in a Facebook post on June 2, pledging to “reflect on our mistakes.”


The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party has also been hit, and has vowed to probe a sexual harassment allegation against one of its lawmakers. 

Since then, the storm has spread from the center of political power to other parts of society, with a growing list of allegations hitting academia, sports and cultural circles as well as the island’s exiled mainland Chinese dissident community. 

The turn of events took the creators of “Wave Makers” by surprise. They said they had not expected such an impact and were now witnessing “high waves” being made every day.

“Cases have been popping up in all walks of life recently, and you can see why it resonates,” said Chien Li-ying, who co-wrote the script with Peng Wei-chao, more commonly known by her pen name “Cynical Chick.”

“There had been so many incidents like this, but they couldn’t be discussed or told,” Chien said.

Since its release in late April, the hugely popular show has provided a common language for discussions about sexual harassment, said Wen-Ti Sung, a political analyst based in Taipei. 


“It also gave victims who came forward a common reference point around which they could rally support and strengthen solidarity,” he said.

[CNN, 2023-6-11]

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