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The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are causing deep divides in the local entertainment industry, as directors, actors and producers line up on either side of the debate.
Singapore’s Straits Times reported on Friday that outspoken and prolific director Wong Jing (God of Gamblers) posted on a Chinese micro-blogging site a public rebuke of movie stars Anthony Wong (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Ip Man: The Final Fight), Chapman To (Infernal Affairs) and singer Denise Ho for their criticism of the heavy-handed police response to the demonstrations.
Wong Jing said on Weibo: “I absolutely don’t agree [with your political views]. To avoid embarrassment, your contact details will be erased from my phone and computer. Have a happy life.”
Previously, Wong Jing has been vociferous in his condemnation of demonstrators and his support for Hong Kong police. After some of the protests turned ugly, the director said: “They [the protestors] splash urine on people… They deserve a beating.”
Chapman To, Anthony Wong and Denise Ho were all quick to respond to Wong Jing’s public declaration, first with a mixture of amusement as well as openly critical of the director’s ties to China. Wong Jing predominantly makes Mandarin-language films these days expressly for the Chinese market rather than the Cantonese speaking Hong Kong market.
As the protests reach their third week, Hong Kong’s celebrities have become more vocal about the situation. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Chow Yun-fat was the first prominent person to pass comment on the protests, with Andy Lau and Tony Leung Chiu Wai following suit.
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