Monday, March 10, 2008
Actress Tang Wei, one of the stars of the Ang Lee movie, "Lust, Caution", gained notoriety for her sex scenes with co-star Tony Leung.
But now she has become infamous after China's State Administration of Radio and Television (SARFT) issued a memo to all television and print media not to broadcast or publish a commercial starring Tang.
She had a 6 million yuan (US$843,000) deal to promote skin care brand Pond's, but the government-issued memo didn't explain why Tang's ads had to be pulled.
In a March 7 statement titled "Reassertion of Censorship Guidelines," SARFT said it had informed all major film and broadcast bodies and governing entities it was renewing prohibitions on "lewd and pornographic content" and content that "show promiscuous acts, rape, prostitution, sexual intercourse, sexual perversity, masturbation and male/female sex organs and other private parts."
However the notice, which was published on SARFT's website, did not specifically mention the 28-year-old Tang or the movie.
Chinese awards shows have been notified not to use her as a presenter and Hong Kong's Oriental Daily reported online forums about the film and Tang were deleted.
However, Tang is slated to be a presenter at the Asian Film Awards on March 17 in Hong Kong, so it will be interesting to see if she does show up.
While there were explicit scenes in the movie in an art house style, the government has to loosen up and understand Tang was playing a role -- she doesn't go around seducing spies in real life.
And why is her Pond's commercial banned? Is she doing something with the cream other than putting it on her face?
It's hard to say if this has ruined Tang's career. While it may prevent her from doing some movies on the mainland for a few years, she has already gained kudos outside of China.
It may not hurt for her to change tack and head for Hollywood.