Research students demand Yu Dan step down

2007-03-06 08:54
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Ten Chinese researchers have demanded Professor Yu Dan resign from her television show and issue an apology for her "incorrect and misleading" interpretation of the classics.

The controversial Yu Dan is a media expert and professor at Beijing Normal University famous for interpreting Confucius's Analects to the masses on television.

Yu Dan's work has attracted critics in the past and the most recent attack began on Saturday. A doctoral student called Xi Jinru who is researching ancient Chinese poetry published a post railing against Yu Dan on the Tianya online forum. He quickly gained the support of nine other doctoral students who research ancient Chinese literature at different Chinese universities.

In his post, Xu Jinru accuses Yu Dan of misleading the public and labels her approach "ignorant, unfaithful and harmful."

One of Xu Jinru's classmates and supporters, Liu Genqin, said Xu Jinru's conscience is forcing him to protest.

The original post has now received more than 10,000 replies, both for and against.

Yu Dan has been a controversial figure since the day she first shot to fame via the television. Some people love her witty style, while others criticize her for straying too far from the original text.

At a ceremony to launch her new book at the Zhongguancun Book Store on March 3, a middle-aged man revealed his dislike for Yu Dan when he took off his jacket and exposed a white shirt printed with the slogan, "Confucius is vexatious, Zhuang Zi is angry."

But Yu Dan doesn't seem too worry too much about her critics, dismissing them by saying "It's a matter of personal choice. Some like KFC, while others like McDonalds".

Before October 2006, Yu Dan was still an ordinary professor in Beijing, unknown to the public. She shot to fame discussing her understanding of one of China's most famous classics, The Analects of Confucius, on TV.