Will Smith slapped Chris Rock and was banned from the Oscars for ten years. Donnie Yen slapped the Hongkongers and the Uyghurs. He was not banned.
by Kok Bayraq
In 2022, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) banned Will Smith from attending the Oscars for ten years for slapping host Chris Rock. Unfortunately, in 2023, the Academy failed to follow this protocol by inviting action star Donnie Yen, whose participation was a slap to Hongkongers and Uyghurs.
As discussed in Bitter Winter last week, in January this year Donnie Yen was appointed a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the highest political advisory body in China.
China’s policies toward the Uyghurs have been recognized as genocide or at risk of causing genocide by more than twenty countries and organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, and the US government. That means Donnie Yen was appointed to a council advocating genocide. China is not even hiding its plans of genocide, by ordering to officials in Uyghur region “To break their lineage, break their roots.”
Yen appeared on screen at two meetings held in China last week and stated, “It is a great honor to be a new member of the CPPCC.” Who wouldn’t consider this a slap to the Uyghur people—the target of the genocide—, the prisoners who fought for their rights, human rights activists abroad, and journalists and researchers who reported on the genocide?
He previously accused peaceful Hong Kong protesters of being rioters. Additionally, his praise for China’s development also covers up China’s genocide and crimes against humanity, and further hurts millions of people imprisoned in China and its occupied territories—East Turkistan, Tibet, and South Mongolia.
Will Smith’s attack on Chris Rock was more than a physical blow; it was a blow to Rock’s dignity, and it deserved punishment. Knowing that violence is such a great threat, how can AMPAS ignore a state that commits genocide? Despite the loud calls with 109 thousand signatures against Donnie’s appearance at the Oscars, the actor and his wife, walked the red carpet on the morning of March 13.
If AMPAS were unaware of the genocide, let them look at Havagul’s tears and the state of the hostages! Let them look at leaked documents that call for “no mercy” for Uyghurs! If AMPAS hasn’t heard that more than one million families have been torn apart and have suffered for six years due to the concentration camps set up by China, then the movie organization is disconnected from the realities of major human rights problems in the world.
Donnie Yen once stated that he did not wish to get political. Isn’t it meddling in politics to take on the role of a political adviser to a country that is committing genocide? Isn’t it a form of political intervention to help distracting from the genocide in China by complaining about CNN and the BBC, which exposed it? Isn’t Yen at the forefront of politics by acting in Mulan—a tool of China’s colonial history propaganda—and bragging “I have soul in my movies” to the world?
Donnie Yen knows very well that his films will be banned from the Chinese market if they would include any criticism of the CCP. Therefore, his desire for “non-political involvement” is a fake.
Donnie Yen’s bio also verifies that he has no integrity. He was born in Guangzhou, China, moved to Hong Kong when he was 2 years old, and moved to the United States when he was 11. In 2009, after living in the United States for 35 years, he renounced his American passport and accepted Chinese citizenship—because he no longer needed American education and training. Simultaneously, he gained significant money and fame. He wanted to appeal to the Chinese market of 1.5 billion consumers and thus sold his betrayal as patriotism, stating, “I am 100% Chinese.”
It is clear that Donnie Yen, who grew up taking advantage of the democratic system that helped him becoming famous, did not find these advantages suitable for 1.5 billion Chinese. This means his Chinese patriotism is also a fake.
What is a hypocrite like Donnie Yen, who grew up in the free world and has denied freedom to others, doing at the most prestigious art scene in the free world?
The AMPAS, has banned actor Richard Gere from attending the Oscars for twenty years for his criticizing China for the “horrendous, horrendous human rights situation” in Tibet. This is another ludicrous move compared to the invitation extended to Donnie Yen, who supports and serves in the CCP’s inhumane regime. The sins of the six American actors who have been banned from the Oscars are less serious than the sin of Donnie Yen in his support of a genocide.
What is the rationale and standard of this decision? Is a pre-condition for being featured at the Oscars to support and not criticize China? Are actors supporting China promoted, and those who oppose the regime banned? Aren’t supporters of the CCP just as involved in politics as its critics?
Will Smith and Richard Gere told no lies; their actions and intentions were clear, and Smith’s admission of his mistake was another indicator of his honesty. Will Smith has been banned from the red carpet for ten years. Therefore, Donnie Yen should not be allowed anywhere near the Oscars until he apologizes for his complicity with dictators and compensates the victims. Will Smith slapped the face of a friend, but Donnie Yen is crushing the hearts of millions of people.