When Netflix’s Taiwanese political drama Wave Makers went viral, no one expected the story, written by a former aide for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), would foretell the onslaught of sexual harassment accusations in Taiwanese politics.

Accusations began emerging from within the DPP a week ago, involving figures such as Presidential Office Adviser Yao Chih-fa and former Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Kaohsiung Hong Chih-kun. Later, several politicians of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), including legislator Fu Kun-chi, were also accused of sexual misconduct.

Local media have dubbed the string of events Taiwan’s “MeToo” moment.

In a Facebook post, President Tsai Ing-wen apologized yesterday for the DPP’s mishandling of sexual misconduct complaints for the second time in a week. She said among the perpetrators, there are those who knowingly commit the act and those who are unaware of their boundaries, and the whole society “must educate itself once again.”

She said the government will provide sexual harassment guidelines for companies and schools, and reevaluate the effectiveness of the existing mechanisms for reporting sexual harassment in order to protect the rights of victims to file complaints without fear.

Lai Ching-te, Vice President and the DPP presidential candidate, has also pledged structural reform within the DPP. He proposed Monday establishing a direct complaint mechanism and amending the party’s internal regulations regarding cases of sexual harassment.

KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-yi called on the DPP to treat gender equality as “more than just a slogan.” In response to the sexual harassment allegations involving KMT legislator Fu Kun-chi, he said any political party or individual involved in this matter must “rigorously examine themselves, never compromise, and treat the investigation with the highest standards and not leniency.”

Misconduct allegations spread from major parties to media figures, literary figures, and activists, including Wang Chien-jung, Chairman of United Daily News; Wang Dan, Chinese pro-democracy leader; professor and writer Chen Fang-ming; poet Chouyu Zheng. A screenwriter for Wave Makers has come forward to accuse exiled Chinese dissident Bei Ling of sexual assault. Most of the accused have denied the allegations and expressed willingness to cooperate with police investigations.

According to statistics from Facebook page the Citizen 1945 Action Alliance on June 3, there have been 18 reported cases of sexual harassment within the DPP. Several high-ranking DPP officials have also been accused of obstructing victims from reporting to the police after learning about cases of sexual harassment.

Former director of the DPP Women’s Department Hsu Chia-tien, and former director of the DPP Youth Department Tsai Mu-lin, among others, have resigned and are under investigation for their alleged failure to assist the harassed party workers.

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TNL Editor: Bryan Chou (@thenewslensintl)

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