Very early Sunday morning, beloved Chinese actor Wang Baoqiang shocked the Chinese internet by announcing on Weibo that he was divorcing his wife, Ma Rong, for carrying out a secret affair with his agent, Song Zhe, that was destroying their family. Wang’s post quickly became the hottest topic on Chinese social media, generating millions of shares and comments. Inevitably, the vast majority of those commenters have sided with Wang, calling Ma a “whore,” a “prostitute” and a “gold digger.” A recent poll shows just how one sided Weibo has become.
Currently, just over 200,000 Weibo users have answered the simple question: “Wang Baoqiang, Ma Rong, Song Zhe, who will emerge victorious?”
96.8% have voted in favor of Wang. Incredibly, Ma is even trailing behind Song by around 400 votes at this time. Hey, still 6 days left until the poll closes?
This is likely isn’t the kind of result that Ma Rong was hoping for. She has started to strike back on social media against her husband’s accusations, accusing him of abandoning his family and friends on WeChat and making a cryptic post on Weibo that reads: “Trying to hide it only makes it worse, the good and evil of it all will reveal itself in due time.” Yesterday, she even sued Wang for defamation of character, demanding that he remove his original Weibo post and apologize. She also posted the court documents on Weibo for Chinese netizens to see.
But this is an incredibly uphill battle for Ma. Often in affairs, women are cast as the immoral villain, while men get off relatively scot-free. On top of that double standard, Wang Baoqiang is an adored star, not just for his acting, but for his honest demeanor and humility. In his initial Weibo post, he casts himself as a faithful husband and a caring father, who doesn’t want to see his family getting mixed up into what is becoming one of the biggest celebrity scandals of the year. Whoops?
On Monday, Wang officially filed for divorce from Ma. He is demanding full custody of the couple’s son and daughter and requested that Ma pay child support until both children are 18 years old. While Ma may be the clear loser in the court of public opinion, we’ll have to wait and see what the court of law has to say.
Still, at least one Weibo user sees a problem with the online poll: “In this kind of case, no one can be called the winner.”