It seems like Who Rules the World 且试天下 just can’t catch a break as the show has been caught in consecutive controversies in recent days.
Netizens Point Out Similarities to Royal Nirvana
With the show currently airing, some netizens have compared scenes and dialogue between Who Rules the World and Royal Nirvana which aired in 2019. Although both are based on novels, it’s the screenwriter’s adaptation that’s being accused of plagiarism. Netizens have pointed out similarities in the plot surrounding the palace politics with the male leads in both dramas being princes who have lost their mother, are unfavored by their father and face similar trials.
To make matters worse, Royal Nirvana seemingly responded to the issue on Apr. 29 with dialogue from the series that read, “All literature and art should not be used for conspiracy. Once contaminated, there will be no spirit and no backbone.” Who Rules the World has not made any statement.
Denying Animal Abuse Allegations
Who Rules the World has also been drawing attention from concerned netizens due to a scene of a horse falling headfirst to the ground. The Paper reported that the show’s stunt horse team has denied animal abuse allegations. In a statement dated April 30, the team explained that the horse named Ferrari has undergone special training and measures such as placing thick enough sand were taken to ensure the safety of the animals. They also explained that Ferrari is in good health and in the midst of shooting for another crew. A video of Ferrari after filming was also shown. Nonetheless, some netizens are not buying their explanation and asking for the behind-the-scenes footage to be shown.
With allegations against Who Rules the World, it seems attention has also turned to a scene which aired last year in The Long Ballad where a horse falls off a cliff. On April 30, a stunt man named Fan Yizhu shared a behind-the-scenes clip to show that the “horse” was a fake one used for props. It can be remembered that Marvelous Women also faced public wrath last year due to animal abuse allegations. Police later revealed that there is no truth to rumors that a cat died while filming.