Jackie Chan has been making waves these past month not only because he’s on his 100th film, which is indeed a newsworthy story we congratulate him for, but also for his highly controversial comments about the Chinese people during the 2009 Boao Forum for Asia, which we can only shake our heads over.
Now I do want to say that I am looking forward to his 100th film, Chinese Zodiac, which by the way he is also co-directing, but really his latest very public boo-boo is just more interesting. So I’ll just leave the movie topic by writing that Jackie Chan said that “The theme of the film revolves around a subject close to the hearts of Chinese people around the world.”
Back to the thing that’s been the talk of the Chinese around the world I do have to say that even if I am not Chinese I too find his comments very offensive. He is entitled to his opinion but to say those words out loud in a business forum smacks of cluelessness or craziness. Take your pick. So just what were his inflammatory remarks?
“I feel that in the 10 years after Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, I can gradually see, I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not…I’m really confused now. If you’re too free, you’re like the way Hong Kong is now. It’s very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic…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.”
Ok. So he might not be for self-government but to say that the Chinese need to be controlled is downright disrespectful to them. Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology made so much sense when he said, “It’s easy to sacrifice freedom when you’re treated like a V.I.P. or some high-level official every time you come to China.” I can see why they’re infuriated and want to boycott his upcoming concerts and movies. Oh well.