Earlier this month, well-known filmmaker Zhang Yimou (張藝謀) came under fire for violating China’s One-Child Policy.
In a recent interview, he and his wife, Chen Ting (陳婷) confirmed their wrongdoing and offered a public apology.
According to an article in Jayne Stars, it is estimated that Zhang will face a fine of more than 7 million RMB (approximately S$1,463,224).
“The brand that I have so painstakingly developed with my works has been destroyed in one day,” said Zhang. “As public figures, Chen Ting and I must cooperate with the One-Child Policy Department’s comprehensive investigation, and we are also willing to publicly apologize to society.”
According to Zhang, his children’s teachers never knew the identity of their students’ father. Moreover, when the family went out together, Zhang would stay at least 200 meters away from his children. “Because of my mistake, there has been a big influence on my children’s childhood,” he said.
When asked why he and his wife breached the policy, Zhang replied, “In my parents’ and my traditional way of thinking, we hoped to have more children and thus more happiness.
"Before his death, my father implored me to have a son who could carry on the family name, and my mother thought it would be better to have more children so they could have companions.”
However, Zhang admitted his violation was illegal, even if he may have had good intentions: “I must admit that I was wrong and I assume all consequences.”
Speaking up for the first time since the investigation began, Chen Ting explained that she and Zhang did not apply for a marriage certificate, because they feared that their situation would be discovered by the media.
Their three children, who were born in 2001, 2004, and 2006, were all born out of wedlock, and did not have registered residences until 2011.