Zhu Jun 朱军, a 54-year-old high-profile television host working for China Central Television (CCTV), is facing allegations of sexual harassment filed by a former intern.
On Wednesday, the anonymous alleged victim described the encounter in a post (in Chinese) shared on Weibo, saying she met Zhu when she was an intern on CCTV’s celebrity interview show Artistic Life 艺术人生, where Zhu, as its host, “had tremendous power … and enjoyed flattery from plenty of colleagues.”
According to her, the incident happened one day when she was asked to send fruit to Zhu’s dressing room before the taping. She was accompanied by a fellow intern at first. But after that person left the room, which was located next to a busy hallway with staff members passing by all the time, she stayed alone with Zhu, who, out of nowhere, started talking about his influence at the TV station, mentioning that he had the power to get the intern employed by the network after the internship.
The woman recalls that even though she expressed zero interest in Zhu’s self-aggrandizing monologue, the host got visibly “excited” and attempted to grope the intern despite her resistance. Luckily, Zhu’s unwanted advances got interrupted by the arrival of the show’s guest, musician Yan Weiwen 阎维文. The woman then snapped out of the room.
Afterward, she decided to report the attack to the police, who spent a night collecting her statement and fingerprints on her clothes and hair. But the next day, her internship supervisor came to her, trying to dissuade her from pursuing the case, saying that her report would make a destructive impact on the teacher’s career. Moreover, at the police bureau, she was told that the young police officer who greeted her before was no longer responsible for the case. Instead, two middle-aged policemen attempted to convince her to drop the charges, asking her to consider “the massive positive impact” that Zhu had on society as the host of CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala, the most-watched TV program on the planet. They even went as far as contacting the woman’s parents, both of whom were local government employees, and telling her not to expose the incident for the sake of her parents.
“From there, all I got from the police department were warnings and attempts at persuasion. I became extremely negative and didn’t want to have any contact with the officials,” the woman said. “After they made sure that I wouldn’t expose the matter via other channels, they stopped informing me of any progress in the investigation.”
In the article, the woman says that she was inspired by the wave of women who came forward this week with their stories of sexual assault in the media industry. “In the absence of adequate laws to protect victims of sexual harassment, I know that I lack the power to stop Zhu from appearing on Spring Festival Gala and disgusting my family,” the woman wrote. “But I think it’s absolutely unjust for him to get away with what he did.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the original article only existed for a few hours after it got censored on Weibo, where you now can’t find any posts related to the matter by searching for Zhu’s name. Meanwhile, Zhu turned off commenting on all of his Weibo posts, but some internet users were quick enough to leave comments on Zhu’s most recent post, which is a repost of the People’s Daily coverage on the vaccine scandal.
“Put the vaccine case on hold. Can you please respond to the allegations of sexual harassment first?” one Weibo user wrote (in Chinese), quickly receiving over 30,000 upvotes.