The protests in Hong Kong continue as people demand more representative elections without interference from China’s government. The event has split people all across China, yet finding outspoken celebrities taking sides with the protesters is rare. But that is exactly what Chow Yun Fat did. The legendary actor has voiced his support form the protests, though not as outright as you might think:
As reported on Mingpao News, the actor, who has been very attentive towards the students’ welfare rather than the pro-democracy banner they upheld, stated, “I agree with what Chinese University’s president Joseph Sung said. It’s time for the students to go home and think for a while.”
“We already know how pure their hearts are, and right now, I hope for the government and the students to have a proper communication channel to resolve the issue,” Chow added.
He also expressed his hopes that the government would establish a good platform where they can discuss the issue and end the protest with a happy solution.
“I want Hong Kong to have a better tomorrow, and I wish that Hong Kong will be blessed with continuous prosperity and stability,” he said.
If that sounds a little like he is not quite committing to a side, don’t blame Chow. Just a hint of support is enough to get you into trouble and there are already rumours that he has been blacklisted from appearing in Chinese films. So Chinese personalities have to be very careful what they say. To contrast, this statement from Jackie Chan is being construed as thoroughly supportive of the government:
I found out through the news that Hong Kong’s economic losses reached HK$350 billion [$45 billion] and I’m really worried…I believe every Hong Kong resident loves Hong Kong and wishes it well! Hong Kong’s bright tomorrow requires everyone’s support and hard work…In the song “Country,” one line goes: “There is no prosperous home without a strong country.” I am willing to work hard with everyone and return to rationality, to face the future, love our country, love our Hong Kong.
But assuming Chan’s position is not hard: he has in the past even argued that free speech should be curtailed in places like Hong Kong and has a reputation for backing the autocratic Chinese government. There is also the matter of Chinese consumers, who are largely not in favour of the protest and have been punishing artists who are by not buying their work. Musician Kenny G had to backpedal quickly after showing support for the protests – it turns out he makes a lot of money from Chinese audiences.
But Chow is not as concerned and apparently responded to the blacklisting by saying he’ll just make less money.
Last Updated: November 3, 2014