THE recent spate of criticisms aimed at Zhang Ziyi's role in upcoming Hollywood thriller, The Horsemen, might lead to the film being banned in China.
The Chinese actress came under fire recently from Chinese netizens who spoke out about her portrayal of an alleged serial killer who, according to Oriental Daily, was reportedly "ravaged" by a Caucasian male in one scene and kneels before American actor Dennis Quaid in another.
After watching these scenes, netizens claim that the roles were demeaning and called for the movie to be banned in China.
Conversely, fans of Ziyi defended her and said that she was doing the country proud by accepting roles in Hollywood. They also said that she was merely playing the part as an actor.
This is not the first time the 30-year-old actress has been labelled as a "traitor".
She was first criticised four years ago for her role in another Hollywood movie, Memoirs of a Geisha.
But it did not stop there. Early this year, Chinese netizens were again outraged by semi-nude pictures of Ziyi sunbathing at a private beach with fiance Vivi Nevo.
She was called a "shameless woman" and berated for "behaving badly".
Strong reactions from Chinese netizens and fans could affect the decisions of China's film censorship board as to whether the movie would be released at all.
This was exactly what happened to Memoirs of a Geisha - it was banned in China for fear of anti-Japanese reaction as netizens called her "the prostitute of the Japanese".
Such controversy from the Chinese Internet community could see The Horsemen following the same fate as Memoirs of a Geisha.
Translated by Karen Lim.
This article first appeared in my paper.
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