Chinese censors picked the wrong Hong Kong celebrity to prove a point.
After the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement started on Sept. 28, a number of Hong Kong cultural personalities publicly voiced their support for the protesters and their cause.
Because the Umbrella Movement participants are demanding that China grant genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong and that pro-Beijing Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying should resign, the Chinese communist regime is none too pleased with these outspoken celebrities, and has since decided to blacklist them.
Household names such as Denise Ho, Anthony Wong, Tony Leung Chiu-wai won’t be allowed to hold concerts, make appearances, or promote their movies and albums on the mainland, and state-owned Chinese media outlets won’t give them any coverage.
Chinese censors aren’t even sparing Hong Kong and international movie actor Chow Yun-fat, who is arguably the the most famous Hong Kong star today.
But Chow really couldn’t care less about Beijing’s sanction.
Recently, reporters from Hong Kong’s Next Magazine spotted Chow at Kowloon Park, and asked him what he thought about China banning him on the mainland.
The 59-year-old actor, who is known in the West for his roles in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End,” said nonchalantly: “I’ll just make less then.”
Chow does come across as being a touch snooty with his statement, especially in considering that he has an estimated $80 million net worth and makes about $8 million from films, but really, he’s kind of like the Keanu Reeves of Hong Kong.
According to a Jayne Stars profile, Chow is a modest, affable individual who is completely comfortable wearing old threads and taking public transportation.
Earlier in the year, Chow even pledged to donate his entire fortune (an estimated HKD$1 billion, or $129 million) to charity after his death.
When the Umbrella Movement began, Chow even made an effort to engage with the protesters.
“I’ve met the residents, the students — they are very brave and it’s touching to see that they’re fighting for what they want,” Chow told Hong Kong publication Apple Daily (via The Hollywood Reporter).
“The students are reasonable. If the government can come up with a solution that the citizens or students are satisfied with, I believe the crisis will end.”
Chow also condemned the Hong Kong police’s use of tear gas on the protesters in Admiralty.
“When the government uses violent measures on students, it’s a turn-off for the people of Hong Kong,” he said.
“I don’t wish to see anyone getting hurt… it was a peaceful demonstration, and there was no need for any violence or tear gas.”