Wow. I can’t even! Just when you thought we’ve made great strides forward when it comes to shame tactics in the workplace, someone has to come and prove otherwise. Today, Produce 101 winner and former Rocket Girls member Yamy released a statement detailing the verbal abuse she suffered in the hands of her boss Xu Mingchao. Turns out him constantly bringing her down and publicly shaming her in staff meetings has been going on for a while now and it looks like girl’s just about had it with him.
In her statement, Yamy writes:
“What am I really?
Since Produce 101, “ugly” and “old” are part and parcel of what has been written about me on the internet. As an entertainer, this kind of judgment is inevitable as there will always be people who support you as well as critics and naysayers who bash you. I write down all my feelings into my song lyrics with the intent of speaking through my work and affirming myself there. But the hard won self-confidence I’ve built with such difficulty was completely torn down three months ago. Mr. Xu Mingchao, the boss I once trusted and relied on the most called on everyone present at the staff meeting to humiliate me. He said I was so ugly that he couldn’t tolerate it, that I was worthless, and forced everyone to agree with his comments. When I heard the recordings provided by my colleagues who took a risk to take it, I felt confused. In the past two years, were you just wearing a mask to get along with me? Sorry, I’m taking it seriously.
Why? I didn’t use to be so stubborn, I was even afraid to mention a basic need! I didn’t use to hide at home and cry ’til dawn for no apparent reason and never would I have read a text message with my hands shaking. I would’ve never felt the need to escape when I hear voices … Now I understand, it turns out these “symptoms” have been around for a long time and certainly it’s been around for more than just these three months.
For a long time, what I have experienced felt like an endless loop. Mr. Xu’s treatment of me has always swung between two extremes:
You have an advantage and you must have confidence in yourself.
You are not worth it, really not worth it.
Your work will speak for itself, I absolutely support you!
You first have to make me happy before talking about needs.
It has been more than two years of this constant repetitive cycle, beating me down and always criticizing me has made me extremely depressed, and a promise to change had me hoping. I used to really think that if there’s a problem, it must be my fault, that I didn’t do well enough. Now that I think about it, fear and my low self-esteem allowed me to be selectively blind to the harm you’ve been doing and made me live in self doubt all the time. My parents are heartbroken, my friends are concerned and my fans are disappointed. I hate my fragile appearance. Enough is enough, your maltreatment will stop here.
Hence I sent a letter to terminate my contract. But those eight words you had – “I understand the situation, don’t go courting disaster (情况了解，不要作死)”. You’re also a father to a young girl, how can you use the word “disaster/ death (死)” to threaten someone’s daughter so lightly?
You’re the boss and I’m just an employee. Maybe I won’t earn as much as you are in my entire lifetime, but it doesn’t mean that my job is of lesser value than yours. Maybe my appearance doesn’t fit your aesthetics, but it doesn’t give you the right to ruin my dignity. You could have supported me, but it doesn’t mean you can continue to hurl insults at me forever until I rot. I didn’t sign up to be an audience to your “bossy overbearing CEO” act nor am I a puppet at your mercy. The love and courage I need to desperately protect, will never be for you to destroy any longer.
From now on, I will be responsible for myself.
What’s this about me being unimportant? Well, I am THE most important.”
And just so we all don’t think she’s making it all up for attention, the singer also included the audio recording of the verbal abuse she’s forced to take.
Poor Yamy, she can certainly do better with someone who won’t make her doubt her self-worth. After reading her statement and hearing the recording, I’m feeling extra thankful to most of my old managers. If there’s one thing they used to do it’s to praise publicly and correct privately and I’m very grateful they’ve gone over and beyond to show that they always had my back and that each one of us is appreciated. Really, at the very least I hope Yamy can quickly unsaddle herself with such a toxic person and move forward from all this negativity.
Thankfully, her fellow Rocket Girls have proved to be a godsend as Sunny Lai, Yang Chaoyue, Zhang Zining, Xu Mengjie, Yang Yunqing, Li Ziting, Fu Jing, Meng Meiqi, Wu Xuanyi and Duan Aojuan have all rallied behind her with words of support. “You are the ONLY Yamy in the entire universe” comments Sunny Lai while Xu Mengjie had these fighting words to say: “ From now on, I will only be happy for those who love you and cherish you. Don’t bow down to evil forces. You are everyone’s treasure and my perfect partner. I won’t allow others to hurt you. Don’t bow down to the evil forces. If people don’t appreciate you, your sisters will always cherish you”. Good to see that despite disbanding just this June 23, the girls pretty much still have each other’s backs.
Even their Produce 101 host Tao couldn’t help but comment on this situation on Yamy’s behalf saying “Those who were recorded scolding her, can you see how much trash talking in your company disgusts others? Putting up a company? Being the boss? Making money? Are you even worthy? Rich ? That’s it? Why did you sign her on in the first place?… this industry is even more disgusting than you’ll ever know. But retribution will come.”