Outrage in China after Stone says earthquake may be due to 'bad karma'

Sharon Stone is facing an escalating consumer boycott from cinema-goers in China, one of Hollywood's most important export markets, after saying the earthquake that has killed at least 70,000 people could be caused by "bad karma."

In an outburst that may prove more provocative than even the infamous leg-crossing scene in Basic Instinct, the 50-year-old actress told reporters that this month's natural disaster, which made millions homeless, may be the result of the Chinese government's policy on Tibet.

Amid growing fury over the comments, which were made on the red carpet at Cannes last week but have since reached a worldwide audience on YouTube, the founder of one of China's biggest cinema chains said yesterday that his company would no longer show her films in its theatres.

Ng See-Yuen, founder of the cinema chain UWE and chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, described Stone's remarks as "inappropriate" and said actors should not bring personal politics to bear on a humanitarian crisis.

The Chinese PR company for Christian Dior, with whom Ms Stone has a lucrative modelling contract, has distanced itself from her comments, while yesterday's Beijing Times reported that department stores have removed advertising bearing her image.

At the heart of the row is an interview Stone gave to a TV reporter. "I am not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans," she said, when asked about her Buddhist faith. "Then I have been concerned about 'how shall we deal with the Olympics?' because they are not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a good friend of mine. And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened and I thought, 'Is that karma, when you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?'"

Although representatives for Stone, 50, were not returning calls yesterday, supporters pointed out that later in the interview, the actress conceded that her hardline attitude had softened after she received a letter from The Tibetan Foundation asking her to go and help quake victims.

Stone's remarks have provoked widespread outrage on the internet, with Chinese citizens posting web responses to Stone. Although actors making colourful remarks on the red carpet is nothing new in Hollywood, industry experts say Stone's comments may prove to be particularly ill-judged, given that she currently has at least four films in production. "To speak plain English, you don't want to piss off several billion people," said Steven Gaydos, executive editor of the Hollywood newspaper Variety.

Back in China, meanwhile, the challenges keep on coming for the thousands of soldiers and other relief workers trying to help the five million people displaced by the 7.9-magnitude quake.

So acute is the problem that China has even asked the Japanese army for help, the first time Japanese soldiers have been deployed in China since the Second World War.

Yesterday, relief workers evacuated 150,000 people living near the perilous Tangjiashan "quake lake" because of fears the reservoir could burst its banks.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam