When it comes to the world of entertainment, lawsuits are a dime a dozen, or roughly 6,000 dimes an hour. They come in all shapes and sizes, from super-important to super-dangerous to super-weird. In China, we’ve got a super-stupid one happening, as a man is trying to sue a TV show actress over how intense her stare is through the TV screen. I’ve been hard up for money before, but that’s just ridiculous.
The actress in question is Zhao Wei, one of China’s most popular and most wealthy movie stars. (American audiences might know her from such films as John Woo’s Red Cliff films and Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer.) She’s currently starring in a primetime comedy-drama series called Tiger Mom, based on Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and apparently the way she works her eyes in the show is too much for a man in Shanghai, whose lawsuit claims that Zhao’s stare has caused him “spiritual damage,” according to the Associated Press.
I’m not sure how this could possibly happen, as Zhao presumably doesn’t ever look directly into the camera – which isn’t to say that act could cause spiritual damage anyway – but I guess that’s why I don’t get paid the big bucks like lawyers do. For what it’s worth, it hasn’t been confirmed by Shanghai’s Pudong New District Court that they’re actually accepting the case or not. One can only hope it gets tossed aside in place of something more justifiably sound.
In the meantime, go ahead and give yourself a home-based test on how powerful Zhao’s eyes are by watching the Tiger Mom preview below and then self-judging how damaged your spirits feel.
Sadly, this kind of frivolous lawsuit isn’t likely to go away any time soon in China, as a change in regulations on May 1 have altered the procedure in which courts are allowed to reject cases. Rather than the previous system where cases are examined after they are submitted, the lawsuits are now immediately accepted by the courts so long as a set of basic requirements are met, and it’s then that the already understaffed courts can take a closer look at each case’s details.
According to statistics, around 1.13 million cases were filed across the country since the rules changed, with administrative cases seeing a 221% increase over this time last year. Criminal cases had a 149% increase, and civil cases were increased by 27.8%. Seems like something will need to be fixed before too much longer. Maybe they could just get Zhao to stare at the regulations to get them to fall apart.