He is going to sue, says Quang Dung.
The popular crooner has confirmed that he will file a lawsuit against the Dep (Beauty) magazine for "damaging his honor" with a critical article about his work and abilities.
In a recent interview with the Dat Viet newspaper this month, Dung said the commentary by Dep belittled all his efforts since he started his singing career in Ho Chi Minh City almost 10 years ago.
"Every word [in the article] seems to negate all my endeavors. I also question their malice in publishing the article right before my live-show Ngay nua de yeu thuong (Another day to love). ... I also know that the author is younger and has had a later career starting-point than me," he told the paper.
Dung was the subject of a four-page portrait done by the magazine's 136th edition. The block of articles included two interviews and two commentaries.
Titled Quang Dung Chang tinh le len pho thanh sao (Quang Dung From countryside bumpkin to star), the article complimented Dung for singing "with soul, with love and his own feelings," but added the singing was too instinctive and betrayed a lack of technique.
"If he were to instinctively sing but make it sound more natural, that's not a problem. On the contrary, Quang Dung's accent is crude perhaps because of his central region's original accent. His stiff jaw that seems to grind every word has annoyed critics. Some even say that Quang Dung sounds like he's singing with a mouthful of gravel, it seems like he strains hard just to get a word out.
With the products that he has released so far, "we can assess that Quang Dung's creativity in his music is limited despite wanting to try new things and having tried new things. Perhaps trying new things, to him, is simply recording and releasing any song that he has not sung before?"
While this is harsh criticism, it seems like the exercise of the legitimate right of a critic. So why has Dung taken umbrage?
In fact, there are those who say both his fans and colleagues have been surprised by this decision to sue, as Dung, they say, is normally a calm person. But Dung says he decided to sue in order to get an official apology from Dep.
For their part, Dep has also posted their feedback to Dung's beef on their website www.dep.com.vn
According to the magazine's editorial staff, they sympathize with Dung, but are also sorry for his reaction.
They defended their two writers saying they had followed due process. The interviews with Dung are based on their Q&A with Dung and they have all the necessary evidence. The other pieces were done by two journalists, who are experts in the music field, and were in keeping with the column's style and standards. The stories gave the readers "various angles on a celebrity."
Meanwhile, lawyer Le Van Kien of the Hanoi Bar Association felt Dung had a very good chance of winning this case. Kien told the VTC Television's e-newspaper that in a civil dispute, either the plaintiff or the defendant who could prove that he/she is right will be the winner.
For example, the article cites a vocal music lecturer commenting that Quang Dung's "stiff jaw" means he cannot improve. The writer must give the name of that lecturer and his quote about Quang Dung. Otherwise, the magazine has to apologize to Dung. In this case, "I think Quang Dung is in a more advantageous position, since he would not have been admired for such long time if he had no real talent," Kien said.
Freelance copywriter Tran Linh Dan said, "I'm not a fan of Quang Dung, but the article has such coarse and one-sided words in commenting on a famous singer's career. I think the press should be unbiased. But I do not know whether Dung and the writer have some "˜behind the scenes" issues.
"Dung has the right to protect himself. But in my opinion, just one article causes no harm to either side."