Friday, April 18, 2008

Jackie Chan Defends His Homeland . . . And the Torch

So, according to a TV news report I saw the other day, Jackie Chan discussed his upcoming stint as torch-bearer, which will occur while the Olympic torch is in his native China. He derided those who have tried to interfere with the torch's proceedings, saying that they are just "trying to get attention." He also mentioned that he will be very upset if his route is interrupted - perhaps he will go "Rumble in Hong Kong" on whomever might try such a feat.

What's interesting here, at least to me, is idea that the Chinese government might have encouraged him to speak out, since he is such a well known figure in America. Surely he is in a tough spot, since his time outside of China will surely have introduced him to the fact that some of his country's policies are misguided, to say the least. But regardless, its sad whenever beloved stars are forced to defend their countries' policies, especially in a case like this.

It is, of course, rather unfortunate that no substantive debate has emerged from this situation- only whether or not we should boycott the Olympics, and if so to what extent. Its sad when beloved celebrities say things we don't agree with especially if there's a chance they were coerced into doing so. Surely we don't know Chan's motives, but if the government was behind what he said, it shows the sad state of freedom of speech in China.

No comments: