Chapter 664: Zhang Ye's Rebuttal: Admiring the Mountains!1
The discussions did not die down.
Some of them were even contributed by people who were employed by The Voice's program team to drive discussion.
If they had their way, this atmosphere would probably have lasted all the way until the broadcast at night and would have definitely boosted the viewership situation.
However, at this moment, a certain northern television station's program team's supervisor suddenly said something. Without holding back he unexpectedly posted: "A program like The Voice whose act of inflating the joining pays for the guests can only be described as despicable. This has already negatively impacted the normal operations of the other program teams of the television industry! Just a short moment ago, a celebrity who had already agreed in principle a month ago that they would be joining our reality television program backed out of the deal. I won't reveal who it is, but that person asked us: 'Why was The Voice able to pay their guests who were only be doing judging duties a sum from 10 to 40 million RMB as joining pay, but your program team can only give 7 million?' I did not know how to answer that. I totally didn't know how to answer that question!"
The coaches' joining pays were public knowledge since the beginning, not because the program publicized it since it was meant to be confidential, but because it was leaked by someone.
From the content of that person's rant, it could be deduced that the celebrity who had backed out was likely a B-list celebrity who was as popular as Chen Guang and Fan Wenli, or possibly even more popular. But having been promised a joining pay of only a little more than half of the couple's, the celebrity was probably felt it was unfair. That was of course understandable, since competition in the entertainment industry was quite strong and such comparisons were also very common!
If you drove a 1 million RMB car?
Then I must drive a 2 million RMB one!
If you're wearing a low-cut evening gown?
Then I will wear a transparent one!
In any case, no one wanted to be outshone by others and all these outward comparisons were not only down to gratify their vanity, but also a tactic for them to gain more fans. Of course, the joining pays were also considered as such. Oh, our popularity is more or less on the same level, so what do you have that you deserve 10 million while I only get 7 million? If the joining pay became publicized, then the celebrity would also suffer a loss of face, so they might as well not join at all!
This Weibo post caused quite an uproar, so much so that even the poster did not think that there would be so much response!
Following that, countless other industry workers surprisingly said something too.
A certain southern television station's program team's manager posted: "It's the same for us. In three of our programs, there were two celebrities who backed out of their contracts at the last minute and caused a serious delay in the program's production progress. Now that we have to find other people at the last minute, when many of those celebrities heard about the joining pay we were going to offer, they all felt it was too low. I would like to ask Zhang Ye right now, and ask The Voice's program team too. Based on what reason did you all pay out twice the price of the industry average? I would also like to ask the regulators: when it comes to such bad-intentioned acts to raise the joining pays, shouldn't someone be held responsible?"
Seeing this, a CEO of some program production company also stepped forward to give his point of view: "Ever since The Voice's 4 celebrity guest coaches' joining pays were revealed, every talent show domestically has seemingly been negatively affected. Regarding such misconduct, there should be a serious crackdown on such behavior! It needs to be strictly boycotted! The market for variety shows is basically at a low point. With the advancement of the internet, invasion of foreign programs, and the existence of many forms of other types of entertainment, it has caused this embarrassing situation that the variety shows are faced with. The glorious days are just a thing of the past now-and under such circumstances, variety shows are difficult to do in the first place and not earning money-yet Zhang Ye is still trying to raise the prices? Isn't he just making the waters murkier?"
Another television industry personnel also said angrily: "Zhang Ye, we won't stop you if you're in this alone. If you screw up your show, it has nothing to do with us, but don't you drag us in either! Don't drag us from the variety television industry with you into your grave! The market was spoiled by people just like you!"
"Yeah, we feel the same! Things are getting more and more difficult to do now!"
"Right, whenever any new program wants to invite a celebrity as a guest now, nothing can be worked out at all as they're all looking at joining pays in the region of those given at The Voice! Their expectations have all been raised!"
"If the fluctuation of the pay is just around 10%, it's fine. But in just such a short period of time, they're expecting an increase of 60-70%. That's unacceptable! This is truly an act of destruction! Just why are all you from The Voice paying such a high fee? You're only making a normal and overdone singing talent show, it's not like it'll be some world-class program that will get crazy high viewership ratings!"
"Appealing for all industry insiders to boycott such behaviors!"
"We have to boycott such behavior!"
"If this is going to be a popular variety show that gets 1.2% in viewership ratings, then the joining pay of 10 million for a B-list celebrity would still be a fair deal. But the issue here is that you're not. Everyone in the industry has already analyzed and considered your program and said that the hosting won't be anything special. It's even overused content and the type of show that will only attract the minority audiences or a cult following, thus only possibly getting a 0.6% viewership rating tops. Even the majority of the viewers are probably only going to be pulled in by Sister Zhang and the married couple!"
"Can the regulators set a standard for the norm?"
"I suggest banning on the broadcast of The Voice!"
"I've already made a report to the regulatory department."
"If its just the few of us doing so, we won't be able to do much, so let's do it together, everyone!"
"Right, although it might not be of any help and the Regulatory Department might not have handled an incident like this before, we must still stand together and boycott such behavior!"
Countless industry insiders were galvanized, feeling that the offenses were too numerous to record and were calling for strong action to be taken on The Voice and Zhang Ye. Basically, they knew that the regulators were not likely to take any action. After all, the contracts had already been signed and the show approved beforehand too. At most, they would give a warning to Zhang Ye and his team, but not take any realistic control of such matters. But no matter what, they still collectively called for a boycott, because they needed to get it off their chests and were jealous of Zhang Ye getting a 100 million title sponsorship so easily. They all wondered why such a lousy program would be worth such a large sum of money-they were essentially refusing the accept this fact!
The negative voices were growing louder and louder!
This incident was growing bigger and bigger!
Admittedly, no matter if they were positive reviews or negative voices, as long as the topic surrounded it and had a certain degree of interest, then it could be hyped up and helped bring more attention to the show. However, this was on the premise that the negativity of the issue couldn't be more than 80%, or it would affect the program's reputation. If that happened, then it would not increase the popularity of the program but lead to a huge loss of potential viewers!
As expected, with the constant talk on this topic, a poll regarding The Voice posted on Weibo earlier was already showing "uninterested" to be leading "interested" by a long shot!
The rest of the votes were for "unsure."
The snowball was gathering into an avalanche as the negativity became increasingly apparent!
At Central TV.
In the recording studio of The Voice.
The audience was progressively entering the studio using their entry passes and getting seated. Already a third of the audience seats were taken up and among the coaches, Chen Guang was the first to be ready and had already come to the stage to take his seat in his coach chair. A staff member was explaining to Chen Guang the functions of the chair and what he needed to take note of. As they were rushing for the past week, they had yet to let the coaches test those functions.
Zhang Ye spoke into the walkie-talkie: "Has Sister Zhang arrived?"
A fuzzy voice came from the other end: "She's already here, I repeat, she's already here."
Zhang Ye acknowledged: "Received. Please inform the other three coaches to come to the stage once they're ready. We need to get them familiarized with the equipment first and test the earset microphones."
Their communication ended.
At this time, Ha Qiqi, Zhang Zuo, and a few others ran over to look for Zhang Ye. When they found him, they said, "Director Zhang, something's happened!"
"What happened?" Zhang Ye asked, looking very worried.
Ha Qiqi pointed to her cell phone's screen. "A staff member from the publicity team just informed me that many industry insiders have denounced and called for a boycott against our show. It seems they've brought this matter up to the Regulatory Department. They're complaining that we inflated the joining pays and spoiled the market!"
Zhang Zuo angrily said, "The regulators will surely not bother themselves with this matter. Those people really have nothing better to do. It's easy for them to say, but in getting someone like Sister Zhang who doesn't ever take part in talent shows to join us, we definitely had to spend more money to be able to persuade her. Don't we also wish to be able to do it with just 20 million, but is that even possible?"
Little Wang added, "They're purposely saying damaging statements about us!"
Wu Yi said solemnly, "We need to issue a statement to fight back! With the fuss that they've kicked up, it won't do for us to just keep quiet! Everyone is going to see how we respond to this!"
Many of the program team's staff were feeling extremely indignant.
In the past, when everyone was doubting that their program, they did not feel much, probably because they had not developed a sense of ownership of the program yet. But now, having worked day and night to crunch the production to meet the broadcast deadline, they had all developed deep feelings for it. This was the result all of them had made by fighting together for many days, but now that they were being spoken badly about and boycotted, of course they would not take it lying down!
"What do we do?"
Everyone said, one after another. Many of the staff who were busy with other work had also come over.
Zhang Ye looked at them. "What else can we do? Just handle well the tasks you have at hand and create a great show that will leave everyone speechless. That's the best response we can give to those skeptics. Just leave everything else to me. Quickly prepare for the recording already, it's about to begin!"
Seeing his response, they finally dispersed and went back to their tasks.
Zhang Ye took out his cell phone and browsed to where all those denouncers were talking about his program. After scrolling through all the comments, he knew that he had to say something and couldn't just stay silent. As such, Zhang Ye responded. Before this, it had almost been a month since he had last said something online, so this was to be the first Weibo post he was going to make ever since he started production on the new program.
Some of the eagle-eyed audiences saw it.
"Ah, what's Zhang Ye doing?"
"Quick, look. That looks like the interface of Weibo."
"Did Teacher Zhang just update his Weibo?"
"Quickly go and take a look!"
"He must be giving his response to those industry peers. Do you know how many people from other television stations are scolding him online right now?"
Many of the audience members who were already seated rapidly took out their phones to check Weibo.
Ha Qiqi and Zhang Zuo might have been busy with their work, but they also secretly took out their phones to see what sort of a response Zhang Ye gave.
At the same time, many people had noticed Zhang Ye's Weibo being updated.
Fan Wenli, still backstage, looked at her phone and quietly exclaimed.
Yao Jiancai was with a filming crew, swiping his thumb down to refresh his Weibo feed.
Chenchen's form teacher, Zhao Mei, also launched Weibo on a school computer when her colleagues mentioned it to her.
Those variety show industry peers who collectively condemned Zhang Ye, the media reporters, and those citizens who liked or disliked Zhang Ye were all paying attention to Zhang Ye's Weibo, which had been updated at a sensitive time. Tens of thousands of pairs of eyes were all focused there simultaneously. All of them thought that Zhang Ye would explain why their program team raised the joining pays to such an astronomical sum, to clarify the difficulties that had made them come to such a decision, to explain that their program was deserving of the 100 million title sponsorship.
But the truth was that Zhang Ye did not want to explain anything. He didn't write a single word of explanation at all. Under everyone's scrutiny, he posted a poem. A poem that would infuriate his industry peers, leave The Voice's program team staff in shock, and stir up the blood-pumping passion of his fans!
How to describe the Revered Peak?2
Towering over all Shandong with endless green.
Heavenly beautiful splendor Nature gathered;
the shaded north side cut off from the south side's sheen.
Clustering clouds cleanse the cracks in the heart,
eyes strain watching homebound birds fly through the ravine.
Someday I shall ascend your highest heights
to see other summits dwarfed, and savor the scene.
1. A set of poems () by Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu
2. Mount Tai