Yu Zheng’s latest series, “Marvelous Women” (当家主母), is once again met with scrutiny over a scene involving a cat that fell down from a table after being poisoned to death. In a recent episode, there is a scene in which a cat was poisoned to death. Netizens suspected a real cat was poisoned to death for filming due to the realness of the scene and started accusing the production team of animal abuse.
The production team issued a statement on November 26 denying the animal abuse accusations. They explained the cat, “Mimi”, was born and raised in Hengdian. Filming took place under the guidance of professionals and the care of the cat owner to ensure safe conditions for the cat. They claim the blood on the cat’s mouth was made of edible plasma and syrup.
They also explained the scene of the cat struggling shows staff members pulling a rope tied to the cat’s leg to mimic the effect of it struggling. They said it was done with staff members under the premise it wouldn’t be injured. Secondly, they said a static screenshot was used in the dynamic shot to give the effect of the cat’s death and not the actual death of the cat.
Netizens still doubted the explanations and suspect there was some photoshopping in the video evidence they provided. As there were still some doubts with the production team’s explanation, they followed up with a video of the cat’s owner to learn about its current situation. The owner revealed the cat gave birth and became a mom a few months ago and has always been very healthy. She also said there was another film crew that wanted to use her cat for filming. She also showed videos of the cat dated October 26.
The production team’s explanations continued to cast doubts among netizens. They want to see a BTS clip of the cat still alive after they finished filming the scene. They also questioned the “cat owner” as she was only looking for videos and pictures from a chat record and not through her photo album. She also told the film crew, “The cat went out to play two days ago and hasn’t come back yet.”, adding more suspicion the cat is no longer alive.
On November 28, the rumors about a real cat being used in the scene started going viral again when a netizen left a comment on a video debating the fate of the cat. This person said, “That cat was actually already dead for a while. I am an extra. What they used was not poison to death, it was electric shock. They used electric shock to stimulate its conditioned reflexes. In the end, it was electrocuted to death. It was buried the same day.”
At the early hours of November 29, the production team of “Marvelous Women” issued another statement saying all the rumors about the cat being poisoned or electrocuted to death were untrue and defamatory. They reiterated the cat wasn’t dead or harmed from filming and is still alive and healthy. They have already filed a police report and will pursue criminal accountability from the rumor starters.
They also uploaded a video that was reportedly filmed on November 28 of the cat owner holding her cat. She said the cat had returned home on that day and so she immediately contacted the film crew. She explained the cat was raised freely and often played everywhere. As her family doesn’t like the smell of cat litter, she leaves the cat at her aunt’s store. She explained the previous cat pictures and videos were retrieved from the family group chat.
Once again, netizens aren’t believing the explanations in the latest video as a netizen says the cat shown in the video is a male cat. They are demanding the film crew to release the BTS clips of the rope tied to the cat and of it alive after the scene was done filming.
Yu Zheng has reposted all the statements and videos made from the “Marvelous Women” Weibo account, but has yet to make statement. The ratings of the series on Douban started out at 5.1, went down to 3.6 after the initial cat controversy, and is now at 3.0 after the latest rumors.