Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jackie Chan Says Chinese Need Control

The New York Times
Jackie Chan Says Chinese Need Control
Published: April 19, 2009

It's not unusual for actors to stumble when they talk about politics, but Jackie Chan, below, has struck a nerve on a particularly divisive issue. In the southern Chinese province of Hainan on Saturday Mr. Chan, the action star, told a group of business leaders, "I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," The Associated Press reported. He also said: "I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want." Mr. Chan's remarks have drawn criticism from lawmakers in Taiwan and Hong Kong, where Mr. Chan was born. "He's insulted the Chinese people," the Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator Leung Kwok-hung told The Associated Press. "Chinese people aren't pets." Another Hong Kong lawmaker, Albert Ho, said: "His comments are racist. People around the world are running their own countries. Why can't Chinese do the same?" Hong Kong and Taiwan news outlets reported the comments, but mainland China did not. According to his Web site,, Mr. Chan will perform May 1 at the Jackie and His Friends Concert in Beijing.


gatorade said...

Another article, written after Jackie Chan's statement

Hong Kong, Taiwanese media call for boycott of Jackie Chan films

Action star Jackie Chan promotes his latest movie, Shinjuku Incident, at a press conference in Hong Kong in February. There are now calls to boycott all his films. (Vincent Yu/Associated Press)Action star Jackie Chan is getting a lot of blowback for remarks he made against democratic freedoms, with calls in Taiwan and Hong Kong for a boycott of his films.

"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," Chan told an audience of businesspeople in the Chinese province of Hainan on the weekend.

"I'm gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we're not being controlled, we'll just do what we want," the star of hits such as Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon and The Forbidden Kingdom stated.

He continued to say the freedoms in Hong Kong and Taiwan made those societies "chaotic."

The observations were carried widely in the media in both regions but not mainland China. Politicians in Hong Kong and Taiwan reacted immediately, blasting the 55-year-old actor for insulting the Chinese people.

Newspapers and online media in both regions are now calling for a boycott of all of Chan's films, including his latest, Shinjuku Incident.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board, which has used Chan as its ambassador since 1995, has gotten more than 160 complaints since the comments were made.

Chan's spokesman, Solon So, said the star's comments were taken out of context and only referred to the entertainment industry. Reporters attending the annual conference of businessmen, scholars and state officials say Chan was discussing China as a society.

Chan, a star with acrobatic martial arts skills, has been in films since he was eight years old, first appearing in 1962's Big and Little Wong Tin Bar. He's appeared in, directed and/or produced more than 50 movies.

Lance51 said...

Well we all know what Jackie Chan says is totally true, so maybe they don't need freedom. Just keep the system they have now, give me some chicken friend rice, and shut up Jackie Chan.


Does anybody know how to get tickets to Jackie and his friends concert cause I want to be one of his friends!!!

Happy Gilmore said...

How does this make any sense, people do realize that Chan is Chinese as well. Why would he insult himself? He made an honest statement that is true about all people. With freedom people get out of control. Look at the U.S. We have basically the most freedom of all countries and yet we are still pushing for more rights. It is getting out of hand.

pretty fly for a white guy said...

Why isnt mainland china reporting this while saying, "Jackie Chan wants us to control you." It seems like a great opportunity to me.

Inigo Montoya said...

Really Happy Gilmore? Pushing for more rights is getting out of hand? So letting a gay couple who want to get married isn't important, or not letting the government detain people without cause isn't a good thing? Hmmm. I'm pretty sure more rights is a good thing, and the U.S. doesn't really have the most freedom out of every country. Our country was founded on freedom, and we should keep pushing for more or the government will start taking it away from us.

Charlie the Unicorn said...

Well this is a bit like how Russia doesn't want political freedom. It might be chinas choice to not have control. Not everybody is like Americans, we need to remember that.