Critics say Jay Chou's new video is sexist

Jay Chou's new video has Japanese actress Ayaka Miyoshi (left) playing a woman who toils to support her boyfriend's photography dream.
Jay Chou's new video has Japanese actress Ayaka Miyoshi (right) playing a woman who toils to support her boyfriend's photography dream.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

TAIPEI • Jay Chou's new single Won't Cry may have sold well, but the Taiwan Mandopop superstar has also drawn flak over what is portrayed in the song's video.

The YouTube video, which has been seen more than 11 million times, features a woman who sacrifices a lot to help her boyfriend fulfil his dream to be a photographer.

In the video, the female character, played by Japanese actress Ayaka Miyoshi, is seen toiling at a milk tea shop.

That devotion has been slammed by some netizens as being out-of-date and an affront to women.

They said Chou is sexist for planting an idea that it is okay for women to stay in the shadows of their loved ones, contrary to how far women have come in terms of achieving gender parity.

"After all these years, Jay Chou's new music video shows that some men still dream of a world where a beautiful woman willingly works herself to the bone to support their dream," Deng Anqing, a fiction writer, posted.

The inkstone portal reported that a reviewer on Douban, a popular Chinese movie and music review site, said the video depicted an unbalanced love story, noting that the sacrifice was just one-way.

Worse, instead of moving on after he leaves for his studies, the woman pines for him and fantasises about a reunion.

Other reviewers on Douban zoomed in on the musical merits of the song, with opinions ranging from "more of the same" to "not as good as his old songs".

Still, those reviews have not stopped fans from snapping up Won't Cry, with the tune notching millions of digital sales and topping charts in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan hours after its rollout on Monday night.

Won't Cry, Chou's first song in more than a year, also features Taiwan pop-rock band Mayday's singer Ashin.

But there is no question that the choice of Japan as the setting for the video has gone down well.

China.org.cn reported that tour agencies are cashing in, coming up with Tokyo itineraries that feature the attractions shown in the video.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2019, with the headline 'Critics say Jay Chou's new video is sexist'. Print Edition | Subscribe