Oscar-nominated Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou was fined $1.2 million by China’s government when he admitted that he and his wife have two sons and a daughter — two children ‘beyond-the-quota’ in China’s one-child policy state.
Zhang Yimou and his wife Chen Ting were fined $1.2 million after they admitted in an open letter that their they have two sons and one daughter, though China has a strict one child limit. Zhang, best known for his films Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern, and Hero, owned up to his “mistake” and accepted an investigation into his family — but apologized to the fans he let down with his revealing announcement.
Chinese Film Director Fined — Zhang Yimou To Pay For Violating One Child Policy
Zhang Yimou, 62, was fined based on his family’s combined annual income after he penned an open letter admitting to having 3 children, and claimed he was “willing to accept investigation and punishment in accordance with China’s laws and regulations.” Teams have investigated Zhang’s home nine times since Nov. 2013.
“As a film director, it takes a lot of efforts and good movies for people to remember you, but having excessive children had ruined it all,” he said, according to Xinhua, China’s state news agency. “I sincerely apologize to everyone on my ‘excessive children’ case. I admit it’s my mistake and I won’t blame others for it.” The popular filmmaker also appeared in the opening ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and knows fans of his work will be angered at his secret.
“I will learn my lessons, and I’m willing to cooperate with any investigation from family planning commission,” Zhang said.
China Relaxes One-Child Policy
Chinese government announced in Nov. 2013 it will relax its one-child policy, which would allow couples to have two children if one parent were an only child. Before the new efforts, parents were only allowed two children if both were only children. The new policy also takes into consideration more children for rural families — especially if the first child is a girl.
— Kristine Hope Kowalski