Hong Kong

Actor Chow Yun-fat Responds to Ban by China for Supporting Hong Kong Protests: "I'll Just Make Less Money"


Chow Yun-fat

Actor Chow Yun-fat, like some other celebrities from Hong Kong, has spoken up in support of pro-democracy demonstrators on the islanders. Like every other celebrity in Hong Kong, and many around the world, Chow draws a significant portion of his income from work in China. The Chinese government is using its control of a billion consumers to try to silence celebrities who might be interested in wading into the discussion over the Hong Kong demonstrations.

It had Kenny G bending over backwards to explain how his innocuous wish for peace and a picture taken at the Hong Kong protests wasn't indicative of anything other than his love for Hong Kong and all of China—Kenny G makes a lot of money in mainland China, even if he can't collect royalties the way he can in other countries.

For some Hong Kong artists, an even more significant portion of their success is predicated on media consumption in China. Nevertheless, as the Taipei Times reports:

[Anthony] Wong, [Denise] Ho [who draws 80 percent of her income singing in China] and other artistic figures from Hong Kong and Taiwan — including actors like Chow Yun-Fat (???) and Tony Leung (???), and a filmmaker Kenneth Ip (??) — have been among the most recognizable faces and voices during the protests that have occupied parts of the city for weeks. Some have spoken at rallies and mingled with students; others have used their social media accounts to express support for the demonstrators.

Before the protests, initially led by a movement called Occupy Central With Love and Peace, the names and faces of these performers were featured regularly on stages and screens in China, as well as in advertisements.

But now they are being shunned by fans and companies in China, on whose support many of their careers depend. Arms of China's state-run news media have denounced them as disloyal to their country. Photographs of a list containing the names of Wong, Ho and other artists were circulated on social media this week. The list was said to be a blacklist of pro-Occupy artists that had been drawn up and sent to mainland news media outlets and entertainment companies, with instructions not to mention or promote the stars.

Chow Yun-fat, for one, says he doesn't care. Asked about the ban, the actor, whose net worth is about $80 million, reportedly said he could "just make less" money.

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  1. I feel better for some reason.

    1. A celeb standing for actual freedom and putting his money where his mouth is….yeah, I like that too!

  2. I respect Mr. Chow Yun Fat’s position. Having $80M in the bank doesn’t hurt, I’m sure. Still – nice principles, sir!

    Good luck to the people in Hong Kong.

  3. Shorter version

    Chow Yun Fat – Balls
    Kenny G – No Balls

    1. Not exactly a shocker.

  4. It’s kinda sad that a multimillionaire celebrity actually having enough of a spine to forgo a marginal increase in their income to stick to their principles is newsworthy, but good on ya Chow Yun-fat

    1. Because you have read it on Reason, which cites a report in a foreign newspaper, does not indicate that it is a newsworthy story to a majority of the unprincipled news consumers in this country, which is kinda sadder.

  5. As for Kenny G, I think this serves as further evidence that the abomination of smooth jazz is some kind of commie plot.

  6. Classy guy:

    Now that you’re one of the biggest movie stars in Chinese language cinema?
    I’m just an actor! I’m not a star.

    Okay, but seriously, have you been taken aback by your achievement?
    Not really. I just treat it as a job. It’s pointless even if people put a crown on my head. [Laughs] I mean, I have my own way of life, and I’m still taking the MTR and buses. My life wouldn’t change if you give me a boat or an airplane. That I have an interest in something doesn’t mean that I have to milk it for all it’s worth; the fun I have when I work on a set with all the [cast and crew] is greater than what comes to me afterwards.


    1. and one more:

      Lastly, how do you want to be remembered decades from now?
      It’s good enough if the audiences like the movies and like the characters. I’m only a performer. As long as they enjoy watching me, I’ve done my job and that’s fine with me already. The main issue is: as a performer who’s collecting a pay cheque, I’m satisfied as long as the box office is decent and the boss isn’t losing money. If the audiences like [my performance], of course I’m happy; but even if they don’t, there’s not much I can do for them either ? dude, I’m just making a living! [Laughs]

      1. Wow. Talk about humility and perspective. Too bad some of that didn’t rub off on Kevin Costner.

  7. my classmate’s half-sister makes $70 /hour on the internet . She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $16438 just working on the internet for a few hours. visit the website…

    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

    1. Is she using any of that money to support the protests in Hong Kong? Or to buy balls for Kenny G?

  8. The Chicoms did their worst, and this guy just shrugs. “Eh, I’ll manage, it won’t stop me from criticizing their tyranny.”

    Great stuff.

  9. Was this the guy that played Kam Fong or was that Chin Ho ?

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  11. Chow Yun-fat is a great actor and famous in china ,people like him very much and his interesting movies. but now he said he could “just make less” money.

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