Hong Kong actors yesterday chose a kung fu star who couldn't tell the difference between Prince William and his younger brother Harry to lead their professional association.
Jackie Chan, who has a track record of public gaffes, was reported to have confused the British royal brothers with one another when he met the elder prince in London.
Voted in as the new president of the Hong Kong Performing Artistes' Guild, Chan told The Times that he congratulated the Duke of Cambridge on taking wounded veterans on a trek to the South Pole last year. "Prince William said, 'No, that was my brother', and I said, 'I'm sorry'. But they look almost the same, huh?" Chan told the newspaper on Thursday.
He was speaking after meeting William at London's Natural History Museum at a reception for the International Illegal Wildlife Trade summit on Wednesday.
Chan has often said the wrong thing in public. Last October, the action star said he sometimes wished some countries would experience natural disasters, in a remark apparently prompted by his perception that it made them friendlier.
At the Boao Forum in 2009, Chan said he was not sure if a free society was good for China, saying: "We Chinese need to be controlled."
But the guild's executive secretary Astrid Chan Tsz-ching said she felt sure Chan would not cause any embarrassment to Hong Kong showbusiness or damage the image of the actors' association. "In fact I found him very cute," she laughed.
The guild voted in a new executive committee and president, after previous president Eric Tsang Chi-wai stepped down.
Tsang, a TVB show host, came under fire for not standing up for television actors after Ricky Wong Wai-kay's Hong Kong Television Network did not get a free-to-air licence last October.