Chapter 461: Notions of the People!
Phone call after phone call came in.
The SARFT’s decree #43 had rippled further than anyone had thought. This decree had to be executed within the day and there was no grace period given. This gigantic bombshell had landed too quickly and too harshly!
Ring, ring, ring.
It was from the CEO of Brain Gold’s company, Wu Mo.
“Hello, Brother Zhang, It’s me, Wu Mo.” Wu Mo sounded a little off.
Zhang Ye wasn’t really focused, “CEO Wu.”
Wu Mo noticed his tone and said, “I heard about your matter. I don’t know what to say. You’ve been dragged into the trouble caused by others. This shouldn’t really affect you, but…. hai…”
Zhang Ye said, “Will it affect your business?”
Wu Mo pondered before saying, “It shouldn’t have a big effect, but the authorities called earlier and the television station also sent us a letter saying that our company’s commercial would need to be re-approved. They have stopped airing it for the moment as……. they want us to delete your part in it. Otherwise, it would definitely not pass the censors. I heard that they are being very strict about this. My aunt also knows some of their people there, but after asking around, she said that nothing could be done about it. There’s basically no leeway at all, so we can only take down the commercial for now.”
Zhang Ye said apologetically, “I’m sorry about that, CEO Wu. This time, I’ve dragged you down as well. Don’t worry about it, just cut my part out of the commercial and continue to use the original footage sans my part. It doesn’t really matter if I’m in it or not. This commercial’s core was never me anyway.” The original Brain Platinum advertisement in his previous world did not have a spokesperson endorsement in it anyway, so it didn’t matter if it were cut there as well.
Wu Mo said, “You don’t have to apologize. Sure then, I will just follow what you said and handle it that way for now. When everything dies down….we’ll talk again.”
Zhang Ye said, “I’ve caused a great loss to your company, so just send me a bill afterwards. We’ll go according to the contract and I will compensate you no matter how much it is. After all, this issue was caused by myself and no one else.”
Wu Mo hurriedly said, “Brother Zhang, what you’ve said makes no sense. The contract is just a contract, that is but something that’s dead. Do you think our friendship can’t compare to that piece of paper? What compensation are you even talking about? Please do not bring this up anymore in the future. Ever since your campaign for us was launched, our Brain Gold’s sales have soared like a rocket. Just based on the sales during this new year’s period has already surpassed the sales of our company for the past two years multiple times. Right now, we’re basically sitting on top of every other health product and are the leaders in this industry. For our company to have such a day, for me to be standing where I am now, it’s all because of this commercial of yours. Otherwise, our company would have already been bankrupt instead of it being where it is now! So why do you need to mention compensation? You’re ridiculing me this way. Please don’t bring this up anymore. Our company didn’t even suffer a loss!”
When Zhang Ye heard that, he did not insist anymore and said gratefully, “Thank you, CEO Wu.”
Wu Mo said, “I know that you’re having troubles at work now and I can’t help you with that, but if you need my help in any other way, just say the word. If I can do it, I will definitely help you. Our contract will still go on as per normal until your ban gets lifted next year. We can continue working together and maybe even extend your endorsement of our products.” After say all that he needed to convey, Wu Mo hung up.
Wait for the ban to be lifted?
Both of them knew that wasn’t likely to happen!
Regardless, he was still very grateful to Wu Mo for saying those words cause him to feel warmth in his heart. Whether it was in his previous world or this world, he had seen too many cases of celebrities and companies falling out because of endorsement contracts. How they were forced into a settlement by the companies would make one cringe, but Wu Mo did not do this. Not only did he refuse to talk about compensation, he even expressed that he would like to continue working with Zhang Ye. Zhang Ye could only accept his kindness as Wu Mo did not need to do this for him, but did so anyway.
Following that, he received another call.
It was Weiwo WebTV’s Director Feng Guiqin. Usually, any communication between the company and Zhang Ye would be handled by Director Wang Xiong as he was also Zhang Ye’s direct supervisor, but this time, it was Feng Guiqin who made the call, so Zhang Ye probably understood the meaning of it.
“Director Feng.” Zhang Ye picked up the call.
Feng Guiqin stayed silent for a moment, not speaking at all.
Zhang Ye laughed, “Director Feng, just say it directly to me. I’ll be fine.”
Only then did Feng Guiqin said, “The episodes of ‘Zhang Ye’s Talk Show’ have all been taken down. Luckily, we finished broadcasting it a few days ago and the WebTV station did not suffer any losses, but regarding your next program, I guess there’s no way we can have it anymore. You’ve already seen the SARFT’s decree, right?”
Zhang Ye said, “Yes, I know about it.”
Feng Guiqin said, “The decree has already been passed and the relevant departments have already issued an order to us. They’re asking us to take down your programs and to stop all broadcasts of your current programs. We even wanted to enter productions for a new program, but it will have to be forgone now. You’re our station’s hero and the reason for our increase in market share is all because of your talk show. If you are willing to stay on in the company, we can arrange for you to help out with program planning and we will still give you the same salary. To be honest, with this decree passed, it doesn’t seem like you’ll ever have a chance to host again.”
Now that it had happened, there was no reason to avoid it. Zhang Ye was starting to feel much calmer now. He laughed a little and said, “Director Feng, thank you for your kindness, but I have no interest in planning a program for others. Besides, if the SARFT were to pick on me again, the program might even suffer because of me. I don’t wish to create more trouble for the company, so I will take the initiative to submit my resignation.”
Feng Guiqin felt it was a pity that it had to come to this, so she tried to persuade him, “There’s no need for you to resign. Why don’t we just freeze your duties for now and leave it until later to decide. We will still be paying your salary during this time.”
Zhang Ye felt that he could not take advantage of the situation. He did not need the money anyway, “Director Feng, let’s just decide it my way. I will submit the resignation letter to you as soon as I can. Help me to process it and I will sign off on it.”
Feng Guiqin took a deep breath and sighed, “This is really an unexpected calamity. Honestly speaking, the whole company is feeling bad for your unfair treatment!”
“There’s no way around this, it has caught up to me.”
“For a person of your capability and talent, sigh!”
“Thank you for taking care of me all this while, Director Feng.”
“That’s what we should say to you instead, Little Zhang. Take care.”
Thereafter, a person from Beijing Television Station, that Zhang Ye did not know, called. He told Zhang Ye about his “Zhang Ye’s Analysis of the Three Kingdoms” and some of his fairytale stories on Beijing Radio Station, which had been scheduled for a rebroadcast would all be suspended immediately. He did not say much as he was no longer a staff of the Beijing Television Station. He did not have a contract with them, so they were only informing him out of courtesy.
After hanging up these calls, Zhang Ye’s mood became a little heavy. He was a broadcasting major graduate. Even though he dabbled in poetry and also became a teacher, he had always been a host first. This time, he had lost his job as a host and his programs had all been suspended as well. This made him feel like a part of him had died. He felt empty. From the beginning, throughout all this time, his dream was only to be a famous person. He wanted to be in the spotlight and stand on the world’s greatest stage. Therefore, he placed a lot of importance in fame and reputation. That was the reason why he kept climbing with all he got to where he was, but now, when it came to him losing all of that, Zhang Ye suddenly felt that he had not only been trying to gain fame and reputation all this while. He was surprised to even admit that he might have really liked what he did. Even if he ended up with no results to show for or unable to gain fame, he would have wanted to continue on doing what he did!
To stand on stage!
To live on stage!
To die on stage!
But now, this little request of his had become a dream once more. Right now, he would not even have a chance to stand on stage anymore!
His heart was dead cold — that was what he was feeling now.
Then, another three work related phone calls came in. Zhang Ye was already in no mood to answer.
The first call was from the Peking University’s website webmaster. He called to inform Zhang Ye that his public lectures on ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ had already been taken down under the orders of management.
Zhang Ye did not feel anything, but asked, “What about next month when school reopens? Do I continue to give my lectures? Am I still going to serve as a Chinese department’s teacher?”
The webmaster vaguely answered, “Oh, I don’t know about that. I’m only in charge of the website. You could ask Dean Chang of the Chinese department.”
Zhang Ye nodded, but did not bother asking Chang Kaige. He did not even make a call to Wu Zeqing, who had a good relationship with him. Because he did not want to bother others about whether they would continue to use his services. He’d just go with whatever happened. In his current situation, Zhang Ye was ready to accept any outcome!
The next call was from the Beijing Education Publishing Firm. They had worked with Zhang Ye on “Ghost Blows Out the Light” before as well as his other fairy tales.
The person said, “Is that Teacher Zhang Ye?”
Zhang Ye said, “It’s me.”
That person was a youth. He said, “Hello. I am from the Beijing Education Publishing Firm’s legal department. Regarding your ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, they have all been taken down by the major bookstores and returned to our publishing firm. According to your agreement with our firm, you have breached some of the terms of the contract. As this was due to your misdemeanors, you have caused great financial loss to our company. Now, the firm is about to terminate this contract and we will be requesting compensation. I’m calling to inform you of this first. As for further details, our lawyers will contact you again.”
Zhang Ye’s eyes narrowed, “How much compensation is your company seeking?”
The youth replied calmly, “According to your simplified Chinese edition’s buyout price and the breach of contractual terms, we are seeking a compensation of 3.5 million. I’m not in charge of the issue here, so our lawyers would be handling it instead. If the matter can’t be resolved, then we will appeal to have this resolved through civil action.”
But Zhang Ye was even calmer than he was, “Don’t activate your lawyers. There’s won’t be a need for civil action either. 3.5 million, right? OK, send me the contract. I will transfer the money to you immediately.”