Who knew directing variety shows could also spur an onslaught of hate mail? Ace vs Ace director Wu Tong recently revealed that he often receives private messages from viewers. However, instead of fan mail, they’re mostly messages to scold him!
Wu Tong is the director of variety shows like Ace vs Ace and the travel-themed Youth Periplous 青春环游记. He has been the recipient of various critiques ranging from being scolded for sloppy editing to being accused of straight up plagiarising the concepts for his shows. The latter particularly when Netizens called him out for copying from the successful South Korean travel reality show New Journey to the West where celebs pretend to be book or comic book characters whilst traveling through cities in China and later through other cities in Asia.
As for Ace vs Ace, Wu Tong says you can’t really please everyone. He admits that no one would feel comfortable getting scolded and he had a hard time accepting it in the past. He’d feel wronged for getting flak over editing because his time is fixed at 90 minutes. If he had to choose between cutting out Chris Lee’s (Li Yuchun) song or a very interesting game, it would be a pity. He would get scolded for his decision but there’s nothing he can do about it because the length of the show is fixed and he cannot squeeze in more content. He said that fans also have their own ideas about how things should be done. For example, one fan would want to see two artists dance together while another is against that. Whatever choice Wu Tong makes, he would be offending the other party. He cannot find a balance yet he believes that many shows similar to his have the same problem.
Because the length and the duration of a show is quite limited, the director says they can only pick and choose carefully what gets edited in and what gets taken out. All you can do is to ensure the integrity of your work and to show what you want to express, he says. He also says that he’s much stronger now so he can accept everything.
Despite initially being leery about all the private messages sent his way, Wu Tong has somehow resigned himself to the fact that “not everyone will be liked forever nor will anyone be hated forever.” He took to Weibo to say, “At first, I didn’t dare look at the one hundred thousand private messages, now I accept it calmly, will continue to make shows in the future and will welcome everyone’s suggestions!”