Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Trying to Appeal to the Masses
Martial arts action star Jackie Chan has landed himself in some hot water after comments he made last weekend at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan.
During a panel discussion about Asian entertainment industries, Chan was asked to talk about movie censorship in China.
"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," he said last Saturday, adding freedoms in his native Hong Kong and Taiwan made those societies "chaotic".
"I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do whatever we want."
These comments enraged Hong Kongers, including a group of scholars who published a letter on the Internet accusing Chan of "not understanding how precious freedom is," even though "free Hong Kong provided the conditions for you to become an international action star."
There's also lots of backlash against the Rush Hour star on Facebook, calling for Chan to be exiled to North Korea. Members of the social networking site also posted letters urging Hong Kong's Baptist University and Academy for Performing Arts to strip him of the honorary degrees they gave the actor.
And the Hong Kong Tourist Board is probably wondering what to do now, as Chan is (or was) its best spokesman promoting the city.
So far the HKTB has received 17 complaints, but has not yet commented on the fiasco.
And opposition parties in Taiwan are pushing for the city of Taipei to strip Chan of his role as ambassador of the Deaf Olympic Games to be held there in September.
Meanwhile, China has been silent on the issue and probably wants to stay out of the fray.
What some entertainers will do to sell more tickets or try to become more popular...