Chan claims 'context' defense | Shanghai Daily

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Chan claims 'context' defense

JACKIE Chan's comments that freedom may not be good for China were taken out of context, his spokesman said yesterday.

The 55-year-old star of the "Rush Hour" action films caused a huge uproar after he told a business forum on Saturday that it may not be good for China to become a free society.

"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," Chan said at the Boao Forum for Asia on Saturday in southern China's Hainan Province.

"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," he said.

Hong Kong and Taiwanese legislators lashed out at the comments, with some accusing Chan of insulting the Chinese race.

Solon So, the chief executive of Chan's company JC Group and his main spokesman, told The Associated Press yesterday the actor was referring to freedom in the entertainment industry and not Chinese society at large.

Chan was speaking at a panel discussion about Asian entertainment industries and was asked to discuss movie censorship in China.

"Some people with ulterior motives deliberately misinterpreted what he was saying," So said.

Meanwhile, the public backlash against Chan grew.

A group of Chinese scholars published a letter on the Internet on Monday 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."

A Facebook group set up by Hong Kong users, which had drawn more than 2,600 members by yesterday, posted form letters urging Hong Kong's Baptist University and Academy for Performing Arts to strip Chan of honorary degrees they gave the actor.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board, for which Chan serves as an ambassador, had received 17 complaints as of Monday that his comments "hurt the image of Hong Kong and aren't reflective of Hong Kong people," a publicist said.




 

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