Yu Zheng Denies Plagiarism in “Beauty Without Tears”

By on December 24, 2012 in TV Dramas


Above: Hawick Lau stars in Yu Zheng’s “Beauty Without Tears”.

Popular mainland Chinese television drama producer, Yu Zheng (于正), is under fire for plagiarism claims once again. The producer’s latest project, Beauty Without Tears <美人无泪>, is the third installment in his popular Beauty franchise <美人系列>, and it is currently airing on a prime-time slot on Hunan TV.

Beauty Without Tears is a romanticized account of the Qing Dynasty’s first emperor, Huang Taiji, and his rise to power. The drama stars Hong Kong actor, Hawick Lau (劉愷威), as Huang Taiji, Yuan Shanshan (袁姗姗) as his concubine Dayuer, and Han Dong (韩栋) as Dayuer’s romantic interest, Dorgon.

Acute viewers quickly noticed that Dayuer’s story line is almost identical to the plot of Legend of Zhen Huan <甄嬛傳>. In very similar scenarios, both female leads from both dramas start from being a very innocent and naïve woman to becoming a calculative, ruthless, and powerful royal figure.

“I’ve only watched the first and last few episodes of Legend of Zhen Huan,” Yu Zheng said. “In my opinion, Zhen Huan essentially becomes evil in the end. Dayuer does not become evil. She has always been pure and kind. She experiences from handling simple matters to complicated matters, but in the end, she will go back to where she first started. Our drama is about dreaming. Zhen Huan is about reality. Also, there is a lot of scheming in Zhen Huan, but our drama does not have much of that. It is about romance and a coming-of-age story.”

It is not the first time in which Yu Zheng was blasted for his lack of attention in copyright. Yu Zheng became one of the highest-paid producers in China after the release of Schemes of a Beauty <美人心计> in 2009, and the drama was accused for copying some iconic scenes from the award-winning TVB television drama, Rosy Business <巾幗梟雄>. In 2011, Yu Zheng released Palace <宫>, and the drama was slammed for being a rip-off of the popular novel, Bu Bu Jing Xin <步步惊心>. Yu Zheng denied all plagiarism claims.

Yu Zheng normally writes the screenplay for his dramas, but decided to step down from this role for Beauty Without Tears, opting to produce instead. Yu Zheng hired female scriptwriter, Shen Zhining (沈芷凝), to helm the script for Beauty Without Tears.

Asked if his reason for stepping down was to avoid plagiarism responsibilities, Yu Zheng explained, “I can only write up to two dramas a year. I already wrote all that I could for palace dramas. My past two Beauty dramas were written in a man’s point of view. I really want this one to be in a woman’s point of view, to see the differences in perspectives.”

“Beauty Without Tears” is Like a Korean Drama

“Ms. Shen and I had fought over the script before,” Yu Zheng revealed. “I was amazed when I read that the two main leads, Huang Taiji and Dayuer, are not in love with each other. How is that possible? Ms. Shen told me that it was time for a change, and I ended up agreeing with her.”

Netizens remarked that the story line of Beauty Without Tears is boring and draggy, and some of them compared it to the likes of a typical romantic Korean drama. Yu Zheng agreed, “Ms. Shen’s screenplay is very much like a Korean drama. Nothing big ever happens, only the small stuff. Things that are wanted are never wanted. But I still want to know what happens in the end. It is so captivating.”

Source: QQ.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

24 comments to Yu Zheng Denies Plagiarism in “Beauty Without Tears”

  1. Tegan says:

    Schemes of a Beauty was accused of copying scenes from Rosy Business?!

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    • Addy replied:

      “Schemes of a Beauty” episode 34, about 29 minutes in. Zhou Yafu defends the Queen.

      The way how Zhou Yafu defends the Queen is very similar to the way how Chai Kau defends Sei Nai Nai in episode 9 of “Rosy Business.” It is not exactly a copy, but it is quite obvious that Yu Zheng took some artistic license from “Rosy Business.”

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      • advo replied:

        Hmm, never heard about that before tbh.

        Some people thought SoAB was similar to BTROC but imo, they must not have watched SoAB that closely then. If it’s just one scene, I’d hardly call it ripping off, whereas Gong is a carbon copy of BBJX.

        As for Beauty without Tear, having a female protagonist become scheming in a palace drama is hardly an original idea so I would not call that ripping off either.

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Addy, in a way it is but at least Schemes Of A Beauty has a tiny shred of originality which makes it one of the better series. Gong II copied from Schemes Of A Beauty by the way.

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      • Tegan replied:

        Thanks for the link, Addy. I’d never read about the accusations before. If it’s just some dialogue in one scene then it’s pretty mild though, and Schemes of a Beauty and Rosy Business are different enough in their settings that it wouldn’t occur to me to link the two dramas together. On the other hand Gong is definitely a blatant copy of Bu Bu Jing Xin.

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  2. Daisy says:

    Palace was plagiarized from Bu Bu Jing Xin and Meteor garden! He denies it but I’m pretty sure he copied some aspects of it. Though the whole innocent character slowly turning evil has been done many times before though.

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  3. I agree that Yu Zheng really needs to do better research or else he’s gonna keep getting sued, but now a days, it seems like every idea has already been taken so originality is hard to come by.

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  4. Ric says:

    I don’t know about the others but Palance is like an exact copy. If he can deny plagiarism for that show, it’s really hard to believe him about the other dramas.

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  5. advo says:

    Beauty Without Tears is really boring and YSS has such a strange, alien face. In addition to some terrible acting, Why Yu Zheng loves her that much, I’ll never understand.

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  6. Funn Lim says:

    Really? Legend of Zhen Huan? Didn’t Gong II copied from Zhen Huan? Gong I from BBJX? MRJX supposedly from BTROC? and it goes on and on and on. Yu Zheng even copies from his own series. I am not surprised. The question is does he copy well? My bet is he will turn the story upside down. Original story says A falls for B but hates C, the his version will be A falls for C but hates B.

    And I think YSS is such a bad actress and not a pretty one as well. Which is why I fear for Swordsman.

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  7. snowysnowflakes says:

    I’m not surprised. Yu Zheng is always plagerizing other dramas. The most memorable one would be 贤妻良母 http://baike.baidu.com/view/347449.htm It’s exactly the same as Heart of Greed and Moonlight Resonance.

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  8. HeTieShou says:

    There are so many series out these days that they are running low on ideas so it is hard to not plagerize,especially when it is based on the same characters and stories…

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Not Yuzheng. He had no excuse.

      history is 1 thing, plagarise is another. I may dislike The Confidant for making Cixi so nice but at least it isn’t as terrible as Gong II.

      Officially, Gong II is my most hated series, followed by Gong I and I heard Gong III is coming? Or is this Beauty Without Tears = Gong III? I am sure I will hate it too. ANd that completes the trilogy of utmost hate. I gotta hand it to Yuzheng; he is a fantastic businessman, competent producer but lousy writer.

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        Really?? Well, I don’t think I have seen any of Yu Zheng’s series yet so can’t compare…

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      • advo replied:

        Beauty WIthout Tears aka. In Love With Power is his final installment to his ‘Beauty’ trilogy so it should not have anything to do with the Gong series.

        He’s a fantastic businessman, but a lousy producer and writer. Beauty Without Tears isn’t written by him but it is mind-bogglingly boring and his choice of YSS and Hawick as lead characters were terrible. Zhang Meng is gorgeous but does not do much beside smile smugly. Ada is good, but she’s done the character before.

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  9. Kidd says:

    Yu Zheng and plagiarism are inseparable. He even has a nickname among netizens for it. They called him Yu Chao Chao (literally translated as ‘Yu Copy Copy’).

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Plagarize also must do it well. he almost always, in fact always do thing terbalik.

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  10. iampheng says:

    The Legend of Zhen Huan was an amazing series. There is no way Yuan Shan Shan could carry a series like Sun Li can…and frankly Zhen Huan did not become evil in its most literal sense at the end of the series. In many ways, her actions were responses to how others treated her…sometimes you just get sick of dealing with other peoples bs.

    Yu Zheng is a piece of work…but I will still be watching this Beauty installment because I live Han Dong.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Sun Li was masterful as Zhen Huan even if the series suffered from a lot of terrible terrible things like boring characters. The Emperor was the culprit. But can’t deny, Sun Li was wonderful. I wished she was Ruoxi. She would have given that character more oomph than “steely stare-cry cry-angry angry-arrogant bored” Liu Shi Shi.

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        I thought LSS was fine as Ruoxi, but yes Sun Li would have been even better…

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        LSS was servicable but I read a lot of fans did not like the character Ruoxi. So I suppose if Sun Li was in it she would have made Ruoxi a better character.

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  11. opium says:

    I actually like Gong 2 though. Gong 1 is not that bad anyway however i like BBJX more haha. Wow, Gong and BBJX are original change from a book isn’t it? I have read Chinese book for awhile and most of similar plot will have its differences.

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    • Funn Lim replied:

      Gong is BBJX except the other way around. Gong 2 is Empresses in the Palace but the other way around. Tang’s Beauty Scheme is somewhat like Mei Ren Xin Ji except also the other way around.

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  12. Charbydis says:

    I did not even thing of “Zhen Huan Zhuan” when watching “Beauties Without Tears”. Only two things from the two are in common: (1) Ada Choi is a vengeful empress and (2) some innocent girls loses her innocence after entering the Palace.

    BWT is better that what I expected but still very boring, The story is actually picking up from 23 onwards but is terribly melodramatic and the plot sucks.

    Hawick is a miscast as Huang Tai Ji in terms of looks and age and charisma. He has no kingly presence. YSS has improved but not great and her expression is very exaggerated. Zhang Meng is pretty but her character is annoying. Han Dong is coping well but Dorgon has nothing to do at the moment. Ada is fantastic.

    My main problem with the series is its focus on Huang Tai Ji’s romance and ignores other aspects of his character. I do not think ILWP’s Huang Tai Ji is well rounded character. He is terribly lovesick but the script seems to have overlooked Huang Tai Ji’s military capabilities and intelligence. Shocked that he totally ignored his dead son on the ground and only went crying bu Han lan Zhu’s side. I am not too happy with how Huang Tai Ji treats Zhe Zhe – shows his lover for Hai Lan Zhu but totally kills any respect I have for him as a man and as a Khan. Terrible characterization.

    And there are not enough scenes between Dorgon and Yu Er. They might have to mutually love each other but they can still share scenes of understanding and rapport instead of watching everyone pining for someone else in the gigantic love-octagon.

    I’m not even going to compare this to XZMS, which is classes ahead.

    In conclusion, ILWP fails due to the weak script, bad characterization, strange casting, colour-blind costume designer and weak acting. Mickey He should thank Yu Zheng for not casting him in here.

    However the songs are bad but han Dong and YSS’s voices do not complement wach other. Still continuing to watch because I like Han Gong and I like Dorgon.

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