When I joined the HFPA in 2010, I noticed that it had only one Chinese member and one white Subsaharan African. So I decided to recruit more African and Chinese members.
On March, 5th 2014, I received a call from a woman named Ting Ting. She introduced herself as a Chinese journalist and asked me to sponsor her. I agreed to meet her the following day to go through her clippings before recommending her to the membership.
She came to my place to pick me up. She brought with her a bottle of red wine. I refused to accept it, but she insisted, saying that it was a Chinese custom. I didn’t invite her in, instead, we drove to an Italian restaurant, where she showed me her clippings and talked about her career. I was impressed and agreed to be her sponsor.
Upon returning home, I wrote a letter to the HFPA recommending her for membership. I instantly received warning messages from members, describing Ting Ting as a fake journalist and self-promoting briber. I rejected all their claims and defended Ting Ting, attracting more attacks on myself from the membership.
A month into campaigning for her, a member told me that there was a rumor in the HFPA that “I was sponsoring her because I wanted to sleep with her”. I was so upset that I stopped campaigning for her. Unfortunately, just like in the movies, there’s a prevailing prejudice in Hollywood -and the HFPA- that Middle Eastern men think with their male organs rather than their brains. In fact, I didn’t let Ting Ting come to my place even when she offered “to come and take care of me when I was ill”.
When she was not voted into the HFPA, I called her to relay the news and warned her of the HFPA’s pernicious rumor. She said that “she had known about it and laughed it out”. I was disheartened that she had not shared this information with me and decided not to sponsor her again. I told her to find another member to sponsor her. The following year, no one agreed to sponsor her. She tried the following year again, and a member did. But doubts about her credibility as a journalist continued to circulate among members. Nonetheless, she was voted in May 2016. Thereafter, she thanked me profusely for my support in a text and invited me out to celebrate.
We remained friendly as she became a member of the HFPA, until I agreed to sponsor more Chinese members. She turned aggressive and started a malicious campaign against the Chinese applicants, claiming that they would hurt her livelihood. And it seems that her vengeance against me hadn’t died out.
On January 2022, she went to The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman, who is infamous for reporting falsities and has been fantasizing about my sex life since 2013, and accused me of sexual misconduct for allegedly informing her of the HFPA rumor after she became a member, and she changed it to “I sponsored her because she gave me a blowjob,” adding that only I spoke like that, although I didn’t author the rumor myself. She also claimed that she didn’t know how to react and just walked away, which is completely uncharacteristic of her.
Following the HFPA crisis last year, Ting Ting resigned from the HFPA in July 2021, after failing to gain a position in a committee, and went on a press tour accusing the HFPA members of blocking new applications from entering the association. Chinese applicants, who were blocked by her, were quick to condemn her.
One of her Chinese victims gave up on a career in Hollywood and returned to China. Others are still so traumatized by her behavior that is refusing to get anywhere near the HFPA, even when the HFPA invited them in 2021 to join. In fact, the HFPA still has the same -now inactive- Chinese member that it did when I joined 12 years ago. Currently, there is not a single active member reporting for China, Taiwan or Hong Kong in the HFPA. Interestingly, Waxman, who unceasingly criticizes the HFPA for blocking new applicants, was not bothered by this fact. Instead, she is demanding an apology from to me to Ting Ting, who has destroyed my project and my own career in Journalism, as she did to Chinese journalists.
Meanwhile, the HFPA, who still refuses to investigate the allegations of corruption against the organization, has encouraged Ting Ting to file a complaint against me for writing this article about her, notwithstanding they themselves described her as “rat” and a “cancer.” Unfortunately, Ting Ting declined their generous offer.
Amazingly, the HFPA, whom Ting Ting has accused of corruption, hired investigators to prove Ting Ting’s claims against me instead of investigating those who spread the rumor. In fact, they brought in the rumor’s authors to testify against me. After spending 5 months digging into my life and recruiting rogue elements from within their ranks to confirm her claims, they failed in their mission. They couldn’t prove her lies and concluded the following:
“However, even though investigators find some evidence and witness statements corroborate Ms. Xu’s accounts, on balance, investigators cannot find by a preponderance of the evidence this statement about a “blow job” was made in 2017.”
Ms. Xu probably knew that her accusations wouldn’t stick on their own. She brought with two more women, Tian Li, who I introduced to her, and Anna Pavlova, who I had no recollection of who she was, to fabricate more spurious claims against me. They all spoke to the Wrap.
Notwithstanding the evidence, The Wrap and Sharon Waxman continue to stand by their reporting.
Here is Ms. Xu’s statement to the Wrap:
“Wenting “Ting Ting” Xu, a former HFPA member from China who resigned from the group in protest in 2021 over the lack of reforms, said she was mortified after she got into the organization in 2016 — after trying and failing to do so in 2014 — and found that Asi shared with her a rumor that she had performed oral sex on him to gain admission.
“Sam one day came up to me and said, ‘When you wanted to apply the first time, I was your sponsor, and members laughed at me and joked that you must’ve given me a blow job in order for me to sponsor you,’” she recalled. “Only people like Sam would even say that. Rumors exist, that’s fine. But it doesn’t mean you can just tell that person, like that they said you gave me a blow job. It’s just not something people say to a woman. I just walked away. I don’t think I even said anything to him.”
The individual close to Asi countered that Xu was aware of the rumor in 2014 and had laughed it off and is now raising the claims to retaliate against Asi for sponsoring other Chinese journalists to the organization — a charge Xu flatly denied. Asi declined to comment.”