Restaurant operator KFC said Monday it filed a lawsuit against three companies in China whose social media accounts spread false claims about its food, including that its chickens have eight legs.
The case filed by China’s biggest restaurant operator comes as the government intensifies a campaign to clean up rumors on social media. Internet marketers have been convicted of trying to manipulate online sentiment on behalf of clients by posting false information about competitors or deleting critical posts.
In an announcement posted on its Chinese website, KFC said one of the best-known fake rumors was that chickens used by the company are genetically modified and have six wings and eight legs.
KFC is demanding 1.5 million yuan ($242,000) and an apology from each of three companies that operated accounts on the popular mobile phone app WeChat. It is also seeking an immediate stop to their infringements. Shanghai Xuhui District People’s Court has accepted the case, according to a press officer who would only give her surname, Wu.
KFC’s China CEO Qu Cuirong said in a statement that it was hard for companies to protect their brands against rumors because of the difficulties in collecting evidence. “But the stepped-up efforts by the government in recent years to purify the online environment, as well as some judicial interpretations, have offered us confidence and weapons,” she said.
The companies being sued were named as Shanxi Weilukuang Technology Company Ltd., Taiyuan Zero Point Technology Company and Yingchenanzhi Success and Culture Communication Ltd. in Shenzhen city. Calls to numbers listed for the companies either rang unanswered or were not valid.
Authorities launched a renewed campaign two years ago to clean up what they called online rumors, negativity and unruliness. Critics say the campaign was largely aimed at suppressing criticism of the ruling Communist Party. Commentaries in state media have argued that a cleanup was needed.
KFC has more than 4,600 restaurants in China.
Legendary Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, has revealed that two new exhibitions of work will be shown in his homeland within the next twelve months. The 500 Arhats, a response to the 2011 Japan Earthquake, is to be exhibited at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo from October 31, 2015 to March 6, 2016 and Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection Soga Shohaku and Kitaoji Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer is to show for the first time at the Yokohama Museum of Art from January 30 to April 3 2016. Murakami, who recently collaborated on a collection with Vans, is also set to feature at Art Basel where Galerie Perrotin will present a solo show by the artist.
The subject of Murakami’s new art is one of the most famous motifs in Zen painting, the circle ensō that symbolizes emptiness, unity and infinity in Zen Buddhism. The 500 Arhats, a masterpiece stretching 100 meters by 3 meters in height represents the 500 wise followers who attained enlightenment, in Zen tradition. Keep an eye on Galerie Perrotin’s website for more details.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the silhouette, VILLA and rapper Wale have teamed up with ASICS to craft an Independence Day-themed “Bottle Rocket” edition of the GEL-Lyte III. First teased earlier this month, the design boasts a predominately black upper, donning premium leather paneling as a white star motif appears beneath black mesh overlays. Additional touches are highlighted by patriotic red, white and blue accents across the likes of the laces, branding, speckled midsole and rubber outsole while reflective touches evoke the explosive nature of the shoe’s namesake.
The “Bottle Rocket” edition of the popular split-tongued retro will be available at VILLA in limited quantities beginning June 26.
In anticipation of Sony PlayStation’s 20th year as a pioneering figure in the gaming industry, the entertainment giant is remembering where it all started with their latest release. To commemorate the event, Sony has unveiled a new wireless DualShock 4 controller and headset in the same grey used on the once revolutionary PlayStation 1.
Each piece from the commemorative collection is branded with the original multicolored “family” logo that would appear during each new start and across the console’s disc compartment. While the controller and headset have been reissued with the most up to date technology, they still retain a very nostalgic edge for those familiar with PlayStation’s influential history. Scheduled to arrive in the United States this September, the DualShock 4 controller will be available for $65 USD with the wireless headset coming in at roughly $99 USD.
More information on this anticipated release can be found directly at Sony.
Writer-director Cameron Crowe is having a tough week. His critically savaged movie, “Aloha,” performed poorly in its first weekend in theaters, collecting just $10.5 million despite a shiny pedigree and a star-studded cast. And now he’s apologizing for what critics are calling the culturally insensitive casting of actress Emma Stone as a part-Asian character.
“Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng,” Crowe wrote in a post on his personal blog. “I have heard your words and your disappointment, and I offer you a heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice.”
The Allison Ng character in the film is a young Air Force pilot in Hawaii with a father who is half Chinese. Ng is proud to be one-quarter Hawaiian, a fact she repeats to almost everyone she encounters.
But Stone, who grew up in Arizona, apparently has no Chinese or Pacific Islander ancestry. Native Hawaiians, Asian activists and bloggers have criticized the movie — set entirely in Hawaii — for its overwhelmingly white cast, with many singling out Stone’s casting as being especially egregious.
“It’s so typical for Asian or Pacific Islanders to be rendered invisible in stories that we’re supposed to be in, in places that we live,” said Guy Aoki of the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans in an interview with the Huffington Post. “We’re 60% of the population (in Hawaii). We’d like them to reflect reality.”
Crowe, whose films include “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous,” said the casting of Stone was not meant to be disrespectful.
“As far back as 2007, Captain Allison Ng was written to be a super-proud ¼ Hawaiian who was frustrated that, by all outward appearances, she looked nothing like one. A half-Chinese father was meant to show the surprising mix of cultures often prevalent in Hawaii,” he wrote.
“Extremely proud of her unlikely heritage, she feels personally compelled to over-explain every chance she gets. The character was based on a real-life, red-headed local who did just that.”
“Aloha” is a romantic comedy-drama about a military contractor (Bradley Cooper) who returns to Hawaii to help negotiate the launch of a satellite. While there he reconnects with an old flame (Rachel McAdams) while falling for the young pilot (Stone) assigned to escort him around.
Similar to how some of Ghost in the Shell’s characters can slip their consciousness into new bodies, the enduring science fiction franchise has gone through many incarnations. Starting with the manga by creator Masamune Shirow, the enduring science fiction hit has been an animated theatrical feature, TV anime, and series of direct-to-video anime shorts, plus has served the basis for a handful of video games.
The franchise might even end up with a Hollywood live-action version with Scarlett Johansson playing the lead role. Before that, though, Ghost in the Shell is getting a stage adaptation scheduled to be performed in Tokyo.
Each format of Ghost in the Shell has its own tone and series of events, and the stage version will be taking its cues from Ghost in the Shell: Arise–Alternate Architecture, the updated TV broadcast version of the original video animation Ghost in the Shell: Arise, with its focus on the circumstances leading up to the formation of Public Security Section 9, the department the series’ principal characters are eventually attached to.
Directing the stage version will be film director Shutaro Oku, who also directed plays based on the Persona 3 and 4 video games and is set to direct the stage adaptation of the Blood-C anime this summer.
Handling the script will be Junichi Fujisaku, well-versed in the world of Ghost in the Shell by virtue of serving as supervisor for Ghost in the Shell: Arise and screenwriter for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
The Ghost in the Shell stage show will open at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater (Tokyo Geijutsu Gekijo in Japanese), located in the capital’s Ikebukuro neighborhood, on November 5, and is scheduled to run until November 15. Exact times and ticket prices have yet to be announced, but organizers have put out a statement that no live stream or DVD of the performance will be available, so if you’re interested in seeing the world of Ghost in the Shell come to life, clear out your calendar and head to Tokyo this fall.