Since Tao Mu appeared in the eyes of many netizens, he had always left the public with a positive impression——handsome, talented, approachable, young and promising.
Now suddenly, more than a dozen media jointly reported that Tao Mu had been an MB before. The first reaction of most netizens was to disbelieve. Especially many female fans who fantasized about Tao Mu as their ideal boyfriend. While not believing the gossip media, they also fiercely refuted them on the Internet with an attitude of fierceness.
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“Oh please, our Mu Mu is only 18 years old this year. I found out that his birthday is on July 7th, and he has just become legal for three months. Actually saying that our Mu Mu is a nightclub MB, it’s really laughable. Which nightclub will use child labor as MB? Do you really think the law is just a piece of paper?”
“Our Mu Mu can create FlyNews at the age of eighteen. With such talent, why be an MB. It’s more believable that he is an MB’s bankroller.”
“The one above, with our Mu Mu’s looks, would he even need to pay for the attention of someone he is interested in? All he needs to do is open his mouth and there will be countless girls swarming over, okay?”
“Agreed. It is absolutely impossible for our Mu Mu to do that kind of thing!”
“I don’t believe that Mu Mu is that kind of person.”
Those who trusted Tao Mu fiercely supported him. Naturally, there were also people who did not believe Tao Mu and thought that so many newspapers and weekly magazines would not work together to lie and deceive the public.
“Still feels like there is a bit of a problem here. As the saying goes, there can be no waves without wind. If there is really no such thing, would so many media wrong a person who has no grievances with them.”
“The newspaper also published photos of Tao Mu entering and leaving Night. I know that this nightclub is arguably one of the largest nightclubs in Beijing, and it is even a chain store. There are also branch clubs in Workers’ Sports Complex Rd, Houhai, Sanlitun, and Yayuncun Subdistrict. They do provide that kind of service inside.”
“But isn’t Night’s boss Tao Mu’s brother? This is what Tao Mu said himself.”
“Isn’t Tao Mu an orphan? Where did this brother come from? Besides, Night’s boss is almost forty years old. It is even possible to say that he is Tao Mu’s father. Is your information reliable?”
“The information from the one above seems to be very abundant. What else do you know, why don’t you tell us all of it?”
“The boss of Night is called Liu Yao. When Tao Mu came to Beijing Film to report, it was this Liu Yao who drove Tao Mu over. Tao Mu called him brother.”
“What brother? The way I see it, he’s likely his bankroller. I always found it strange that an 18 year old boy who just went to college and is also said to be an orphan could have the money to create FlyNews and Bullet Screen Network. Even if he is that talented, do people really think it costs no money to rent a server or a villa? Where did he get so much money as an orphan! Maybe he was being kept by someone!”
There has never been a lack of people with dark thoughts and conspiracy theories in this world, and people who liked to make conjectures of other people using the greatest malice. Especially as during these few months, Tao Mu not only created FlyNews and launched the Bullet Screen Network. But also developed a rich network of social connections and could even interact with other industry leaders like Weibo’s CEO on an even level. It could be said that the limelight was all shining on him alone.
Everyone was around the same age, so how come you are so outstanding and so able to cause a stir?
No one in this world could win the love of the whole world. Tao Mu’s sudden spectacular appearance attracted the attention of many people in a short period of time. Among these people, some liked him, and naturally there were also some people who thought he was not pleasing to the eye. This mental state probably originated from envy, jealousy and hatred. It was just that there was no chance to vent previously, but now having latched onto a seeming weakness, all of them were buzzing around like flies that smelled something dirty.
“It’s disgusting. I really thought he was relying on talent, but I didn’t expect him to rely on selling himself.”
“Maybe FlyNews and the Bullet Screen Network were not created by him either. Maybe the two websites were given to him for having served his bankroller well.”
“Disappointed, I didn’t expect that the person I like would be this kind of person.”
“And every day it was like I was caught in some kind of spell, pulling people around me to sign up for FlyNews. Thinking about it now, it’s really not worth it at all. Saying if the users exceed 100 million, you will crossdress and dance to celebrate. Why don’t you just strip dance instead, maybe the gimmick will be even bigger.”
“It’s disgusting to me. I have cancelled my FlyNews account. Using Weibo from now on.”
In just one day, more than tens of thousands of netizens deregistered from FlyNews under the deliberate instigation of certain people with motives. There were hundreds of thousands of netizens’ messages under Tao Mu’s FlyNews page. Some believed him and supported him, some asked for an explanation, and some cursed and vilified him. Even the ongoing national school beauty and hunk selection contest had become affected.
Some netizens rushed to the official account of the program crew to comment ugly things like the program crew was not selecting the school beauty and school hunk, but to select national male hosts and hostesses——”Will the selected school beauty and hunk be picking up customers at Night?”
The cacophony of the situation was getting bigger and bigger, and more and more sensational. The parents and family members of some contestants also called to ask what was going on. Some people no longer trusted Tao Mu and FlyNews, and directly informed their children to go home over the phone. Many contestants were affected and found the program crew to drop out of the contest.
Among these hesitant contestants, Shen Yu, who had been jumping around and making his existence known, attracted everyone’s attention——
“Don’t talk about Mu Mu like this. Mu Mu will be sad. He is a particularly nice person. He certainly wouldn’t be an MB. He just worked in a nightclub. As an orphan growing up in an orphanage without a father or mother, is it wrong to support himself by working and earning money himself? Is it his own choice to not have a good family background?”
“Do you know how hard Mu Mu works? He is very talented, can sing and dance and his martial arts and acting are very good. He was a body double for me back in H Town. Our director even said that his acting skills are much better than mine. He also acted as a body double for Wang Boyuan in the crew of “Faraway Jianghu”. In some shots, even Wang Boyuan did not give people a better feeling than him. This was even personally acknowledged by Director Cheng Baodong and Wang Boyuan himself. Director Cheng Baodong also said that Mu Mu’s acting style is particularly similar to that of film emperor Yan Sheng.”
“Mu Mu is so talented but because he is an orphan and has no background and no backing do you know that he suffered a lot in H Town? When he was in our crew, he was given a lot of trouble by the investor…..He clearly entered “The Legend of Heroes” crew, and even the contract was signed only to be kicked away in the last minute…..I forbid you to speak about Mu Mu that way…..”
“Moreover, Tao Mu has money himself. He doesn’t need to find a bankroller. Do you know how much he made on the stock market in July this year? The market is so unstable right now that even my brother has lost a lot. But Tao Mu’s rate of return exceeded seven/eight times.”
There was a characteristic to Shen Yu’s speech, that was, he particularly liked to find comparisons. In the eyes of others this was praising one while stepping on the other. And the end result was that the happier he jumped and tossed around, the more people hated Tao Mu. Even fans of Wang Boyuan and Yan Sheng, who had no feelings about this incident, developed an extremely repulsed attitude towards Tao Mu because of Shen Yu’s remarks.
“Just how much benefit did he receive from Tao Mu to say such a thing without even feeling guilty! Just look at these words. Putting aside the question of Tao Mu’s handsome looks and talent, I also don’t know whether he is good at stocks. But just on the matter of acting, saying that a freshman who has just entered university and has taken classes for just a few days is actually better than Wang Boyuan in acting…..damn, even Yan Sheng didn’t dare to brag like that back then!”
“It’s almost the same. Didn’t you see that he dared to boast that Tao Mu’s acting skills are comparable to Yan Sheng? I just want to know, towards what Shen Yu said, do Cheng Baodong, Wang Boyuan, and Yan Sheng know this?”
A group of netizens @ Cheng Baodong, Wang Boyuan and Yan Sheng.
“Say, if he wants to flatter Tao Mu, then just flatter Tao Mu. He actually dared to step on Wang Boyuan and Yan Sheng, is his head flooded with water or what?”
Some netizens also found suspicious points with sharp-eyes: “Ai, did you notice? Shen Yu is saying that he and Tao Mu had known each other before? I knew something was wrong. This Shen Yu had a strong sense of presence during the recording of the show. I always felt that he had more shots than others and his scenes stretched a long time. And he can even show his face when shooting other people’s scenes. Do you think the crew knew that he had a good relationship with Tao Mu and so deliberately took care of him and gave him more shots?”
“Isn’t that too unfair?”
“I wanted to say this a long time ago. This Shen Yu is really annoying to me. Don’t even know where he even came from, feeling very good about himself and always wanting others to praise him and listen to him. He’s clearly a guy but everyday he goes about acting cute and coquettish everywhere. And also shamelessly squeezing into the screen no matter who is being recorded, crying for 20 minutes straight when stretching out the leg for dance practice, and screaming at a high Pavarotti tenor whenever he sees a bug. Isn’t this too damn sissy?”
“He’s just like a pug. Other than fawning and being a lapdog he can’t do anything else!”
This immediately provoked Shen Yu’s fans. Tao Mu had known from his last life that Shen Yu’s fans were particularly powerful, and all of them were that kind of mindless protective mama fans. It was fine that fans of Wang Boyuan and Yan Sheng despised Tao Mu, but daring to mock Shen Yu was unforgivable! These fans immediately could not take it. First, under Shen Yu’s FlyNews page, all the fans of Wang Boyuan and Yan Sheng were scolded, scolding them so badly that the two groups of fans had to withdraw from FlyNews. And even that was not enough, they even went to the forums dedicated to Yan Sheng and Wang Boyuan (both did not register a Weibo or FlyNews account because of their different celebrity image route). The fighting power of such a small group of fans actually succeeded in overrunning the forums of two famous movie stars and A-list superstars. Instantly, even the netizens and the entertainment media were shocked.
Many people’s attention immediately shifted from FlyNews and Tao Mu to Shen Yu’s side.
During this period, Tao Mu made no response at all. He only had FlyNews’ employees take a count of the losses suffered by FlyNews and Bullet Screen starting from when the dozen media outlets first released the black material as well as take screenshots of netizens’ remarks on the Internet. After collecting all the materials he directly hired a lawyer to sue the other side.
However, what Tao Mu did not expect was that Liu Yao’s actions were actually one step faster than his. Liu Yao not only sued more than a dozen media outlets that slandered Night and Tao Mu, he also sued Yuxiao Media, who was behind it all. He also directly posted the evidence of how Yao Wenxiao hired private investigators to invade the privacy of Night, and how he spent money to bribe more than a dozen media outlets to discredit Tao Mu onto FlyNews.
——As early as Tao Mu told him of the problem of Yao Wenxiao and Shen Yu, Liu Yao and Meng Qi had begun to make preparations. Liu Yao sent his subordinates to follow Yao Wenxiao 24 hours a day, and at the same time contacted Beijing’s most powerful financial lawyer to be ready for a lawsuit at all times.
During the consultation, the lawyer also mentioned that when the average artist sued the media, even if they won the case, they could only get a symbolic compensation. Whereas those media used artist consumption to gain great publicity and attention for themselves. Even if they published an apology in the end, the loss of face was not comparable to the profits gained.
Besides, Tao Mu would definitely become an actor and enter the entertainment circle in the future. If his relationship with the media was too frigid, it would not be a good thing.
However, Liu Yao and Meng Qi were confident that with Tao Mu’s ability, even if he entered the entertainment circle in the future, he would certainly not be constrained by these unscrupulous media. They insisted that the lawyer find a way to come up with a plan, in case there really was unscrupulous media planning to frame Tao Mu in the future, and to teach those gossip mongering media a heavy lesson. Liu Yao also promised that if the lawyer could satisfy their requests, he was willing to give one million yuan as payment.
Under such a heavy reward, the lawyer was also willing to work hard. It took a little half a month to investigate the law and past cases, and finally come up with a way. So half a month later, when Yao Wenxiao really joined with more than a dozen media to spread rumors and slander Tao Mu and Night, the well-prepared boss Liu, on the advice of the lawyer, directly sued for defamation, unfair competition, corporate spying, illegal use of Tao Mu’s own portrait rights and the Night’s trademark to obtain huge profits, bringing a dozen media outlets to court together with Yuxiao Media.
——If the case was won, it was visually estimated that these dozens of media outlets would have to apply for bankruptcy to get out.
As for Yuxiao Media, the situation would not be as miserable. After all, Yuxiao Media was backed by Sheng’an Group, which has deep pockets!
At the same time, Shen Yu, who had been fighting on the front line, realized that the reason why Tao Mu, the one he most wanted to befriend, was so miserable was because of his best friend.
“How could you do this!” The extremely shocked Shen Yu ran back to the hotel regardless of the shooting and blocked in front of Yao Wenxiao, who was currently in hot waters: “You knew that I really wanted to make friends with Tao Mu. Why did you hurt him like this? Don’t you know that after you did this Tao Mu will definitely not forgive me. Why must you do this?”
Yao Wenxiao looked at Shen Yu with a crumpled expression. He didn’t expect that his every move had been under Liu Yao’s eyes. Now Liu Yao was taking him to court with those media outlets, and with evidence that was extremely conclusive. The situation having become so big, Yao Wenxiao’s own strength was definitely not enough to take care of this matter. But if he asked for help from his family, he would definitely disappoint his grandfather. At that time, he would become another step farther away from the position of heir to the Sheng’an Group. After all, he was not the only grandson in the Yao family.
What made Yao Wenxiao feel aggrieved even more was that at this critical juncture, Shen Yu actually came to blame him: “You blame me? You look at those photos of Liu Yao uploaded online, we have been under their watch since we entered Beijing. That Tao Mu don’t believe you at all and that’s why he sent someone to keep a watch on me. You want to make friends with him, but does he even care a whit about you? And you actually still blame me for him now. Is your brain flooded with water?”
Shen Yu looked at Yao Wenxiao with great shock: “You are yelling at me?”
“You are actually yelling at me?”
“It is clearly you who did the wrong thing. How dare you scold me for having a flooded brain? Why are you like this?”
“I——” Looking at Shen Yu’s big clear eyes which revealed his grief, Yao Wenxiao’s fire was immediately extinguished. Stepping forward and holding Shen Yu’s shoulder he said: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. I was just too anxious.”
Yao Wenxiao paused, and once again wanted to place the blame on Tao Mu: “It was all his fault. If they hadn’t deliberately set a trap for me and found someone to keep a watch on me, things wouldn’t have developed to the way it is now. That Tao Mu, he didn’t like us from the beginning. He was deliberately manipulating us. Xiao Yu, you don’t know, I’m in a very difficult situation now. Liu Yao and Tao Mu got the evidence that I had bribed those media outlets and sued me. If the lawsuit is lost, it will be over for me and Yuxiao Media.”
“Then why did you do it?” Shen Yu looked at Yao Wenxiao dazedly: “If you didn’t target Mu Mu, didn’t discredit him, didn’t deliberately break the news about his working in Night and twisted the truth, he wouldn’t have sued you either.”
“Aren’t I doing this for you?” Yao Wenxiao blurted out: “You always care about that surnamed Tao, I am jealous. And I always feel that he will hurt you in the future.”
“But you still can’t be like this! It’s wrong to hurt others.” Shen Yu blinked his eyes, but he still felt distressed for his childhood friend: “How about you apologize to Tao Mu. Just say that you are wrong. Go and beg him and let him forgive you this time, ok?”
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“I will never beg him!” Yao Wenxiao was instantly furious: “I, Yao Wenxiao, will beg anyone but him.”
“But if you don’t beg him and lose the lawsuit, you will lose everything!” Shen Yu blinked his eyes: “You are not afraid of making your grandfather so angry that he’ll take away your heir rights?”
Yao Wenxiao: “…..”
Shen Yu sighed softly: “Forget it, if you don’t want to beg him then let me beg him for you.”
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