One of the recurring themes in criticisms of the Sunflower Movement by critics was that the students were hoping to grandstand and that their aims in storming the Legislative Yuan were in reality not so lofty, but simply that they were seeking attention, hoped to be looked at in the media, and enjoy the public spotlight. Sometimes this was in regard to the prominent focus on student leaders as Lin Fei-Fan (林飛帆) and Chen Wei-Ting (陳為廷), a criticism which was sometimes echoed in the movement.
At other times, this led to comments such as sexualized comments on the dress of demonstrator Johanne Liou (劉喬安) while volunteering at the occupation by CiTV talk show host Peng Hua-Gan (彭華幹) on the show News Tornado (新聞龍捲風), Peng commenting on her dress as “super hot” and miming unbuttoning Liou’s shirt while moving his hands over an image of Liou, and commenting that probably why many individuals cancelled their tickets to the Spring Scream Rock Festival (春天吶喊) was because the Sunflower Movement offered more sexual sights.
Johanne Liou. Photo credit: Internet
The implication, it seems, was that Sunflower Movement protestors could be reduced to creatures motivated purely by sexual urges, sexual promiscuity, and the desire to be looked at, again, as rooted in the suggestion that student demonstrators were only hoping to get attention through their actions. Although Peng later apologized and was later fined for his comments by the National Communications Commission, this led to further controversy after the end of the movement when Liou was later found to be working as a call girl in Hong Kong, leading to much media commentary harping on how “Sunflower Queen” (太陽花女王) Johanne Liou had been discovered to be a prostitute.