Chinese actor Wen Zhang’s apology to his wife, actress Ma Yili, following rumors of his affair with co-star, Yao Di, broke social media records.
The scandal surrounding the actor, who appears on the popular Chinese TV show, “Naked Marriage,” came as a surprise to his fans as Zhang reportedly portrayed an image of a sensitive and happily married man. On Monday, the actor posted a lengthy message on Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging site, apologizing to his family and his fans. And, the note of contrition received a record response, drawing more than a million retweets in the first 10 hours and had garnered nearly 2.5 million comments by Wednesday.
"I have brought this upon myself. A mistake is a mistake. This has nothing to do with anyone else," Zhang wrote, according to a translation provided by The Hollywood Reporter. "Today, I am willing to accept all the consequences. I've let down Ma Yili and our children. My mistake does not deserve to be forgiven, and it will be difficult for me to make amends for all the harm I've caused. But I want to do it. I have to do it. This is what I'll do for the rest of my life."
Shortly after Zhang’s tweet, Yili, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, reportedly responded with a shorter message on Weibo: "Being in love is easy, being married is not. It is to be cherished." Her post had received 650,000 retweets and nearly a million comments.
According to Associated Press, the topic had been trending above the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the protest against a petrochemical plant in Maoming that turned violent. Weibo reportedly wrote on its site Monday evening that the majority of people discussing Zhang’s post were women and girls aged 24 and below.
The actor, known for his work in Jet Li's “Badges of Fury,” and the 2013 film “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons,” reportedly broke a record set by pop singer Faye Wong in September when she announced her divorce via Weibo.
However, Zhang’s record lags far behind the one set on Twitter by chat show host Ellen DeGeneres with her selfie at the 2014 Academy Awards in March, which received more than 3.4 million retweets.