Staff members from the Chinese newspaper Shenzhen Evening News secretly took photographs of Yao Beina, a beloved pop star who had just died. The photos were taken, but not published in the newspaper, while doctors removed her corneas, which she donated, according to CNN.
The newspaper apologized Jan. 18 for taking the photos of Yao Beina, who died Jan. 16, after her agent Bo Ning complained about the photos on Sina Weibo, the Telegraph reported. Bo is quoted as posting: “Do you have any bottom line as a human being!”
Yao, who was on China’s version of the TV show The Voice and sang the Chinese version of “Let It Go,” from the blockbuster Disney film Frozen, died from breast cancer at Peking University Shenzhen Hospital after being hospitalized last month, according to CriEnglish and News.Com.Au.
“We sincerely apologize for the disturbance and discomfort we have caused to Yao’s family, fans and netizens,” the newspaper said in a statement on its Sina Weibo social media account.
East Day, an online news site in Chinese, English and Japanese with a newspaper The City Herald, reported Jan. 17 that three Shenzhen Evening News reporters posed as hospital staff to obtain the photos. “Three reporters with the newspaper, identified as Shenzhen Evening News, allegedly slipped into the mortuary disguised as medical workers. They took photos of the dead singer, Yao Beina, without the permission of Yao’s family, according to the singer’s agent.The reporters were caught in the act, and the photos were asked to be deleted by Yao’s family.”
However, CNN noted that Shenzhen Evening News‘ Sina Wiebo statement didn’t disclose “how many journalists were involved or detail exactly how the photos were obtained.”
“The statement confirmed that the paper’s reporters entered the make-shift operating room to take photos as doctors took corneas from the dead singer Yao, at about 19:00 on Jan 16. Reporters deleted all photos at the scene when Yao’s family showed opposition, and thus were forgiven by Yao’s father, the statement said, adding that thereafter the newspaper have kept in contact with Yao’s family over the incident.”
The newspaper also said it would set up a donation fund in Yao’s honor but axed that plan after criticism by Yao’s music company, the BBC noted.
iMediaEthics has attempted to contact, via e-mail, the newspaper, Huayi Brothers Music Corp., the company that released Yao’s music, and the hospital where she died. Our e-mail to the Evening News’ parent company bounced back.
Hat Tip: Get News