Former actress Cherie Chung is the latest Hong Kong celebrity to voice approval of Occupy Central.
On Oct. 29, Chung, who was called the “Marilyn Monroe” of Hong Kong in the 1980s because of her beauty, held a photography exhibit at Huashan Creative Park in Taiwan.
Titled “To Hong Kong with Love,” the exhibit featured the retired actress-turned-photography-enthusiast snapshots of Hong Kong, in particular scenes from Lion Rock and its surrounding residential areas.
Chung said at the exhibit: ‘The people [of Hong Kong] really are working hard, striving to make the best of their present condition; this is precisely the ‘Lion Rock spirit’.”
Lion Rock, Hong Kong’s iconic landmark, recently made headlines after pro-democracy supporters scaled its face to hang a 28 meter (92 feet) tall yellow banner with the words “I want genuine universal suffrage” below a graphic umbrella.
The “Lion Rock spirit” became a popular term after the airing of a Hong Kong television series, “Below the Lion Rock,” in the 1970s.
The show depicts the daily trials and tribulations of working-class people in Hong Kong who settled in areas near the hill, and how they overcame their problems through sheer perseverance, mutual help, and care.
Perhaps Chung was making a veiled reference to the pro-democracy mountain climbers and the Umbrella Movement on the whole by her mention of the “Lion Rock spirit,” but there’s no mistaking the subject of her following remarks.
When asked if she had considered taking photos of Occupy Central, Chung replied: “There are too many photographers there already, and I’m very sad that there’s a lot of negative coverage of the [Occupy Central] protests.”
“A peaceful resolution [to the protests] can only be brought about by love and peace, and Hong Kong will definitely be a much better place after that.
“I hope that the Hong Kong government is a credible, responsible government,” Chung concluded.
A number of Hong Kong celebrities have very publicly voiced their support and approval of the student-initiated and led pro-democracy Umbrella Movement.
Some high-profile cultural figures include Chow Yun-fat, Chung’s co-star in her most famous film, “An Autumn’s Tale” (1987), Andy Lau, Anthony Wong, Chapman To, and Denise Ho.
In response to the outpouring of support from Hong Kong stars, Beijing has secretly blacklisted 47 of them on the mainland in what is most likely an effort to silence them by hitting their wallets.
Beijing’s secret censorship is no idle threat.
Cantopop singer Denise Ho makes 80 percent of her income from the mainland, but after she publicly supporting the Occupy Central movement in the summer, she has not been invited to China for performances. Ho also recently lost the sponsorship from a fashion brand without any reason.
Still, this has not stopped Ho from going to the Occupy Central protest sites and actively commenting on her Facebook page.
Indeed, the Chinese regime’s censorship appears to have a negligible effect on Hong Kong celebrities, and in some cases, has even backfired.
After news of the secret blacklist leaked, prominent actors Chow Yun-fat and Anthony Wong have obliquely declared that they are not in the least bit bothered by the blacklist.
Ironically, Beijing’s censorship, or rather, the fear of being censored and losing income, has made an international musician retract his “support” for the Umbrella Movement.
Saxophonist Kenny G, whose music is popular in China, deleted a Twitter photo of himself touring the Occupy Central site, after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying warned foreigners not to get involved with the protests.
Kenny G later posted on social media that he “only wanted to share my wish for Peace for Hong Kong and for all of China as I feel close to and care about China very much.”
“Please don’t mistake my peace sign for any other sign than a sign for Peace,” the frizzy-haired musician concluded.
Clearly, Mr. Kenneth Bruce Gorelick doesn’t have the “Lion Rock spirit.”
Here are some Hong Kong and international celebrities that have been blacklisted, according to various Hong Kong publications:
– Chow Yun-fat
– Andy Lau
– Tony Leung Chiu-wai
– Anthony Perry Wong Chau-sang
– Anthony Wong Yiu-ming
– Ang Lee
– Aaron Kwok
– Chapman To
– Nick Cheung
– Gigi Leung
– Sammi Cheng
– Takeshi Kaneshiro
– Paul Wong
– Gloria “G.E.M.” Tang
– Michelle Chen
– Denise Ho
– William So
– Ronald Cheng
– “Ashin” Chen Hsin-hung
– Giddens Ko
– Deserts Chang
– Kay Tse
– Stephen Au
– Gloria Yip
– Sheren Tang
– Hins Cheung
– Albert Leung (Lin Xi)
– Jenny Tseng
– Charlene Choi