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Question of the Day
A jury decided in 2010 that Disney hid the show’s profits from its creators, London-based Celador International. The ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found no issues with the verdict or with a judge’s rulings in the case.
“I am pleased that justice has been done,” Celador Chairman Paul Smith said in a statement.
Disney did not immediately comment on the decision.
According to The Associated Press, the ruling comes more than two years after the jury ruled in Celador’s favor after a lengthy trial that featured testimony from several top Disney executives. The company sued in 2004, claiming Disney was using creative accounting to hide profits from the show, which first ran in the United States from August 1999 to May 2002 and was a huge hit for ABC.
Drama series thrills Taiwan, dismays Chinese authorities
A television series about imperial palace drama in the 17th century has captivated viewers in Taiwan, but its emphasis on the dark side of human nature has made it less popular with cultural authorities in China.
“The Legend of Zhen Huan” has a Qing dynasty setting and its main characters are fictional concubines vying for the emperor’s affection. The lead role is witty Zhen Huan, who transforms from an innocent 17-year-old into a scheming dowager empress over decades in court. Initially victimized after rivals abort her baby by using poison, Zhen Huan learns to fight back and avenge the wrong she has suffered.
According to The Associated Press, in Taiwan and on the mainland, fans of “Zhen Huan” see the dialogue as insightful on how to advance in the modern workplace. “If you want to live in this court, you must know the emperor’s likes and dislikes, and if you want to survive, you must know those of other women” is one frequently quoted line.
Liu Lianzi, 28, wrote the 76-episode drama series based on her 2007 novel. “Zhen Huan” easily could be a metaphor for her experiences striving for success among thousands of young Chinese writers on the Internet. In the caldron of China’s voluminous online literature market, the mostly female devotees are ruthless in determining whether aspiring authors succeed or fail.
“The Internet has liberated all the external factors that have for long restrained women at work … and no one had anticipated that a woman, when breaking the silence, would have told a story that should totally distort our look at history,” Chinese writer Tzeng Yuan wrote recently in Taiwan’s China Times daily.
Taipei office worker Chiu Ying said she was enthralled by the court struggles depicted in the drama series “that are not unlike nasty office politics anywhere.”
“Zhen Huan has learned to rise up to the top the hard way, having to first deal with a jealous and wicked empress and then serving a suspicious and cruel emperor,” Ms. Chiu said.
The drama has also impressed fans with its luxurious costumes and court scenery, while imparting lessons on Chinese classical poetry, court etiquette and herbal medicine preparation.
The success of the series has spawned a number of Chinese copycats, which may have dismayed Chinese authorities.
Lin Hsi-hui, head of Taiwan’s Multimedia Production Association, said mainland associates told him the authorities there fear young viewers would get distorted work ethics from the series.
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