• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 8:32pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 October, 2013, 2:40am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 October, 2013, 2:40am

In defence of Jackie, but only this time

Some stars have been around for so long that after all the adoration and worship, there is nothing left to do but to trash them. Their fans grow old and forget about them while younger audiences move on to other stars. So it's just as well that Jackie Chan pursues what's left of his career on the mainland and in Hollywood.

That's rather sad because I can still remember the first time my primary schoolmates and I saw Drunken Master in the late 1970s, the breakthrough movie that made him a star and heir to the late Bruce Lee.

That and several of his movies that followed were a defining moment in Hong Kong's cultural history during the city's heyday.

Like Michael Jackson when he was still alive, Chan is now a figure of jokes and ridicule in Hong Kong. Now if only American paparazzi would realise that and stop referring to him as Hong Kong's biggest action star. It doesn't help that Chan has a loose tongue without being the most articulate of persons. I am sure he harbours some seriously dubious ideas that are best kept to himself.

But his latest gaffe was distorted out of context by some Chinese-language media. Given his often blockheaded remarks, he usually deserved public opprobrium; not this time, though.

For being the star who entertained me most during my youth, I will come to his defence this one time.

In an interview in the US, Chan said he sometimes wished that more countries would experience natural disasters. He was responding to a reporter's question about bilateral relations between China and the US. He said both countries needed more co-operation, adding more countries should co-operate more often. It was something completely anodyne. Then things went wrong. "I should not say that," he said. "Sometimes I really like to see some countries have a disaster coming, or either big tsunami, or either big earthquake."

What he was trying to say was that countries often drop their enmity only when disasters like a tsunami or an earthquake strikes one of them. He hoped more countries could work together without having to wait until a natural disaster occurs. That's all.

It's tasteless and tacky to quote an old fool out of context and make him a villain for saying nothing.


Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

I dont know why Hong Kong turned against Jackie Chan. I asked the cinema staff if HK is so prejudiced against blacks that "The Karate Kid" was a flop in HK despite selling on US$100m in the US. The staff told me that it was Jackie that HK people didn't like.
Perhaps he offended HK in many ways but I always treated his dumb remarks with a chuckle. He was illiterate. So I wouldn't treat his remarks with any weight. He wept when HK people booed Tung Chee-wah. It just showed he's ignorant.
It was rumoured that when he received an honorary award from Harvard he was ignorant enough to ask the chancellor if he could get his son (dead last in every form he attended) into the school. In a TV show he openly admitted he's a bad father when he tried to pick up his son from the primary school not realizing he was in Form one on the other side of the hill. It took courage to reveal that.
Not really a role model but there are things I respect him. The only HK made movies I took my son to see in the 1990s were Jackie's movies. His films are not graphically gory and I cannot recall he ever kills with a gun on screen.
For an illiterate person to be able to speak English like him is extremely difficult.
Well said. The press got over-zealous on Jackie, writing big headlines out of nothing.
Donnie Yen (Ip Man).
Actors and celebrities often start to believe they know more than everyone else and that they have all the answers. Thats what happens when you get some fame. He is a very smart businessman, and in Hollywood, one of the few foreigners that knows how to make money there. Give him credit for that. However, he should stick to his talents and politics and statemanship are not his world and not his strength. He can represent HK very well just in his own arena. He should teach the other directors and actors how to make deals in Hollywood. He is uniquely successful in that regard. He also should realize that the USA has been much kinder to him than he has been to the USA given all his anti-US comments over the years.
And the rest of the world knows Jackie Chan the actor, but almost nothing about Jackie Chan the person. Donnie who?? (I known who he is since I live in hk, but no one in N America knows who he is).
HK movie (and entertainment) audiences are also very unforgiving and critical, except apparently when it comes to TVB dramas, which have to be the worst in the world for story content quality.


SCMP.com Account