Honest conversations on reality show My Dearest Ladies 婆婆和妈妈 which is all about familial relationships should have been what TV gold is made of. However, instead of raking in the ratings, Taiwanese host and former TV anchor Patty Hou and her mum Lin Yueyun’s tearful heart-to-heart put the two in the hot seat as their conversation brought attention to Yueyun’s affair with Patty’s very much married biological father years ago.
In the show’s recent episode, Patty was telling her mum how she sometimes wondered whether her husband Ken Huang was affected by the media and the public’s opinion despite him saying it didn’t bother him. Yueyun told her daughter to have faith in him, adding that she herself had the same fears that her past (actions as a mistress) would somehow affect her daughter too.
“What makes me sad is when you were younger ..” says a tearful Yueyun before she stopped. Her daughter answered “I know that being an adult isn’t in easy, but you always did your best to let me have a happy childhood. Looking back, our house is full of love. It was only when I became an adult that I realised that this world isn’t easy. You did your very best to protect me. You kept me from feeling any pressure in that situation”.
Yueyun said that the most important thing for her is that her daughter didn’t get hurt. She also quietly added that “some things (past actions) we should feel remorseful about does not require us explaining ourselves to others”.
The ‘My Dearest Ladies’ episode put mother and daughter smack in the middle of audience’s and Netizens ire, many of whom criticised them for hurting once again the families Yueyun’s two affairs broke up with their comments on the show. And as an extra slap to the face? The giant paycheck worth NT$ 65 million (USD 2.3 million) the pair are rumoured to be walking away with for their participation in the show’s second season.
In the face of all the criticism, Patty Hou wrote a post on Facebook to say that she agreed to appear on the show with her mum with the intention of making more beautiful memories with her. She said they never wanted to hurt anyone. Her agency also responded to the criticisms on the huge paycheck that compelled them to appear on the show by stressing that the facts are distorted, the amount reported is too exaggerated and they hope that everyone won’t maliciously twist things.
Patty’s mum Yueyun used to be an actress. Her affair with famous producer Hou Shih-hung caused quite a controversy not only because Hou Shih-hung was married at the time but that his wife was also friends with Yueyun. That affair resulted in her getting pregnant with Patty, who was born illegitimate since the two never married. When the relationship eventually fizzled out, Yueyun moved on to have an affair with another married man for more than 30 years.