torsdag 4. november 2021

An intern took on one of China's biggest TV stars in a landmark #MeToo case. She lost, but vowed to fight on

He is one of the most recognizable faces on Chinese television. She was a 21-year-old intern working on his show. Three years ago, Zhou Xiaoxuan became the face of China's fledgling #MeToo movement when she took Zhu Jun, a prominent host at state broadcaster CCTV, to court, accusing him of groping and forcibly kissing her in a dressing room during her internship in 2014.

Sexual harassment lawsuits were rarely seen in China at the time, and Zhou's case was widely regarded a barometer for the country's progress on addressing entrenched gender inequality.

On Tuesday, that landmark legal battle ended in Zhou's defeat. A court in Beijing ruled against her after a long-delayed second hearing, citing "insufficient evidence." Zhu, 57, is a former member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a top political advisory body to the Chinese government. He is best known for having hosted CCTV's annual Lunar New Year gala -- the most-watched TV show in China with more 700 million viewers -- for two decades since 1997. Zhu has not directly commented on the case in public. He has denied all allegations through his lawyer and filed a separate lawsuit against Zhou for defamation, according to a statement from his lawyer in 2018.