Sharon Stone reaps bad karma for quake comments

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The Independent Online

Sharon Stone's "karma" is having an instant effect on her movie-star status in China.

The 50-year-old Basic Instinct actress suggested last week that the devastating 12 May earthquake could have been the result of bad karma over the government's treatment of Tibet.

Now the founder of one of China's biggest cinema chains says his company will not show her films, according to a story in The Hollywood Reporter.

"I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else," Stone said during a Cannes Film Festival red-carpet interview.

"And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?"

Ng See-Yuen, founder of the UME Cineplex chain and the chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Film-makers, called Stone's comments "inappropriate", adding that actors should not bring personal politics to comments about a natural disaster that has left five million Chinese homeless, said the Reporter.

UME has branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, China's biggest urban movie markets.

During the brief interview, which has also surfaced on YouTube, Stone also said she cried when she received a letter from the Tibetan Foundation asking her to help the quake victims.

"They wanted to go and be helpful, and that made me cry," she said. "It was a big lesson to me that sometimes you have to learn to put your head down and be of service even to people who aren't nice to you."

Stone's words created a swell of anger on the internet, including at least one Chinese website devoted solely to disparaging her comments.

An after-hours phone call and email to a representative for Stone were not immediately returned early today.

A woman who answered the phone at the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said it was "unlikely that we will respond" to Stone's comments.

According to the web-based database, Stone has at least four movies coming up between now and 2010, including Streets Of Blood, "Five Dollars A Day and The Year of Getting To Know Us..