GTV executives discovered on Wednesday that Ke Wei-Ting, employed for over 20-years as a talk show sound effects producer, has been completely deaf almost his entire career. The revelation has stunned TV audiences, who relied on Ke’s boings, boops, alarms, rattles, and trombone noises to guide their emotional reactions to the events unfolding on their screens.
Ke’s debilitating condition became apparent during a company ceremony, when he repeatedly ignored calls to ascend the stage to receive a Lifetime Achievement award. A subsequent investigation uncovered that the star former-employee totally lost his hearing in 1998, just one year after he was first hired.
“This is a black eye for GTV,” says Zhang Rei-Yi, a media analyst. “But it’s also causing a crisis of confidence in the Taiwanese household. How can we interpret what’s happening on TV anymore without constant twing, twang, pow, and whooping noises from a source we can trust?”
TV talk show broadcasts since Ke’s firing have been described as “Lovecraftian hellscapes” without his melodic banging, whistling, drumming, and doinging to spice up the insipid content and help audiences react emotionally in a uniform manner.
While some are calling for Ke’s reinstatement to end the horror, most are unnerved by the bizarre claims he’s made to the media about how he escaped notice for nearly two decades.
“If people smiled, I’d hit the ‘boing’ button,” Ke signs with his hands from his padded room at the Taipei City Psychiatric Institution. “If people looked embarrassed, I’d hit the ‘sad trombone’ button. But if I wasn’t paying attention, it was completely random.”
“This is, of course, completely ludicrous,” whispers Dr. Tang, a psychiatrist who has been assigned to Ke’s case. “The idea that one can simply read faces to understand emotions is completely delusional.”
Dr. Tang then pointed a finger at his temple and whistled like a cuckoo bird.