Taiwanese singer Annie Yi has shown again and again that she’s not afraid to speak her mind, which was usually considered an admirable trait… until now.
Over the weekend, the 52-year-old, who is currently the oldest contestant on Chinese reality talent competition Sisters Who Make Waves (the one for female celebs aged 30 and up), made an appearance on a talk show to discuss her career and family.
However, what started out as a touching and in-depth interview eventually took a strange turn that landed Annie in very hot soup with furious netizens.
It all began when she admitted to neglecting her self-worth in order to find love when she was younger.
“I feel very fortunate 'cos usually after finding love, I was able to find my self-worth as well, then there would be nothing to lose,” she mused. “But if you fulfill your self-worth first, then that’s very tragic 'cos you would have reached the very top of your career and you will end up like Anita Mui.”
Big yikes. When asked to elaborate further, Annie said, “Because [Anita] looked for love her entire life, and even when she was at her thinnest at the very end [of her life], she wore a wedding dress on stage.”
Annie was, of course, referring to the time the iconic Cantopop diva wore a wedding gown during the encore of one of her final concerts in Hongkong in November 2003. Anita, who never married (she once said she had a “phobia” of it), said that she wanted to try it on to see how it felt. She succumbed to cervical cancer at the age of 40 the following month.
Needless to say, Annie’s insensitive — not to mention utterly disrespectful — remarks stirred up severe criticism from netizens. Many of them questioned her need to drag the beloved Anita into the conversation, while others were far more merciless with their rebuke.
“Be cautious with your words and actions, old auntie,” warned one. Another incensed comment read: “How do you have the cheek to bring up Anita Mui? The ‘Daughter of Hongkong’ was an unrivalled queen and superstar! How did you come up with this thought? Before doing anything, think about whether you’re worthy, big sister! Ah, no, I mean auntie! You’re not even worthy to carry my foot bath water! I have no words!”
Yup, it’s safe to say that she definitely touched a nerve.
It was also pointed out that, unlike what Annie claimed, Anita didn’t spend her life looking for love. “Do you really think nobody would have wanted such a successful woman? What a joke. People who were lifelong artists would not be affected by comments from someone like you, a cult believer and a cheater," wrote one incensed netizen.
If you’re scratching your head over those harsh accusations, the netizen was likely referring to old rumours about how Annie’s first marriage to singer Harlem Yu ended due to her unfaithfulness. Then, last year, she sparked controversy when she shared a now-deleted post promoting an Indian spiritual course that was suspected to be part of a religious cult.