China cinema to ban Sharon Stone who links quake to ‘karma’

By Karen Chu, Hollywood Reporter, May 27, 2008-

HONG KONG — Sharon Stone, who last year was a guest of the Shanghai International Film Festival, now faces a boycott of her films in China after she suggested the devastating May 12 earthquake there could have been the result of bad “karma.”

Stone’s remarks, made Thursday at the Festival de Cannes, pondered a link between the earthquake — which to date has taken the lives of more than 65,000 — and China’s treatment of ethnic Tibetans and their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, whom she called “a good friend.”

“I’m not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else,” Stone said in a brief red-carpet interview with Cable Entertainment News of Hong Kong. “And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?”

Her remarks triggered anger across the Chinese-language media and were called “inappropriate” by the founder of one of China’s biggest urban cinema chains, who said his company would not show the Hollywood star’s films.

Ng See-Yuen, founder of the UME Cineplex chain and the chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, said that actors should not bring personal politics to comments about a natural disaster that has left 5 million Chinese homeless.

UME has branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, China’s biggest urban movie markets.

Largely ignored by the Chinese media were the 50-year-old “Basic Instinct” actress’ closing remarks in the interview at Cannes. Stone said she cried when she got a letter from the Tibetan Foundation asking her to help the quake victims.

“Sometimes you have to learn to put your head down and be of service, even to people who aren’t nice to you. That’s a big lesson for me,” Stone said.

- Original from Hollywood Reporter: Chinese cinema to ban Sharon Stone