Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

How a Netflix show sparked a #MeToo wave in Taiwan

By Clarissa Wei

12 Aug 2023 · 7 min read

informed Summary

  1. "Wave Makers" was released in April and is the first depiction of a contemporary grassroots campaign in Taiwan on TV. The show touches on sexual harassment and how it's dealt with by people in power.

On June 2, four representatives from Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) stood up before a packed room of journalists and, as cameras flashed, bowed in unison as a public gesture of remorse for their party’s mishandling of a series of sexual harassment allegations.

It was a scene that could have been plucked directly from an episode of Wave Makers, an eight-episode hit Netflix drama released in April that follows a group of campaign staffers during a heated present-day presidential election in Taiwan. On an island where political films and TV shows are rare, let alone pointed critiques of the upper echelons of power, the series is the first depiction of a contemporary grassroots campaign in Taiwan on TV. It also isn’t afraid to touch on sexual harassment and how it’s dealt with by people in power—a choice that has clearly struck a chord with viewers. Shortly after airing, the show triggered a wave of retaliation against political leaders, months before a decisive, real-life presidential election in Taiwan.

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