Sun, Mar 09, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Actress Tang Wei blacklisted in China over 'Lust, Caution'

CONTROVERSY Chinese authorities have decreed that any commercial or work of art featuring the award-winning actress is to be promptly removed

AFP , TAIPEI, WITH STAFF WRITER

Actress Tang Wei (湯唯), who won an award in Taiwan for her role in the erotic spy thriller Lust, Caution by Taiwanese director Ang Lee (李安) has been blacklisted in China because of the controversy over the film, a report said yesterday.

The United Evening News reported that Chinese print and electronic media had been "notified on Friday to immediately remove" any works and commercials featuring the Chinese actress.

It was unclear how long the ban would last.

'BEAUTIFYING'

The report cited several unnamed sources as saying that Tang had come under fire as the film -- a tense drama set during Japan's occupation of Shanghai in the 1940s -- was considered to be "beautifying" those who had collaborated with the Japanese at that time.

"Beautifying Japanese collaborators sparked the controversy over Lust, Caution in China even more than the sex scenes did," the report said.

In the movie, Tang joins the Chinese resistance and is tasked with killing a powerful Japanese collaborator, played by Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (梁朝偉), but she changes her mind at the last minute.

In December, Tang was named best new performer in Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards -- considered the Chinese-language Oscars -- for her performance in the film, which contains a number of intense and explicit sex scenes.

The movie was an adaptation of Eileen Chang (張愛玲) novella of the same title, published in 1979.

SPARED

Lee has been spared blacklisting by the Chinese authorities because he is also an artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics, a number of unnamed industry watchers were quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Beijing authorities were also wary that punishing the popular director would help the Democratic Progressive Party fan anti-China sentiment ahead of the presidential election on March 22.

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