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Some are calling for the Oscars to revoke actor Donnie Yen’s invitation to join the presenter list at the 95th Academy Awards this month, with one Change.org petition amassing thousands of signatures.
“We, a group of people from Hong Kong, are writing to express our concern about your decision to invite an actor who supports the Chinese Communist Party’s violation of human rights, Donnie Yen, as a presenter for the Oscars. As a globally recognized film award, the Oscars should represent respect for human rights and moral values, rather than support for actions that violate them,” the petition read in part.
“Donnie Yen is a supporter of the Chinese Communist regime and has made several remarks in support of the Chinese government’s policies, including supporting the implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong and accusing Hong Kong protesters of being rioters.
CHINA SAYS SOME HONG KONG PROTESTERS’ BEHAVIOR ‘INTOLERABLE; AMID FEARS MILITARY COULD STEP IN
Actor Donnie Yen attends the GQ Men of the Year party at Chateau Marmont on December 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
“These remarks not only violate the spirit of freedom of speech but also deny the rights of the people of Hong Kong to fight for their freedom and democracy,” it continued.
Launched Saturday, the petition aims to amass 50,000 signatures. It has reached over 40,000 as of Monday afternoon.
The 59-year-old actor best known for his roles in “Star Wars: Rogue One” and the upcoming 2023 flick “John Wick: Chapter 4,” previously spoke out against Hong Kong protesters who pushed back against Xi Jinping’s Chinese Communist Party and slammed a 2019 pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong as a “riot.”
HONG KONG PROTESTERS’ FAMILIES FEAR UNIVERSITY SHOWDOWN COULD SPARK ‘TIANANMEN 2.0’
Hong Kong police fire tear gas at protesters in Sai Wan, Hong Kong on Sunday, July 28, 2019. (Jeff Cheng/HK01 via AP)
“It wasn’t a protest, okay, it was a riot,” Yen told GQ in an interview published late last month.
“I’m not going to be here talking about how to change how people feel about it. But my own experience, like, I was there, I have many friends who were there. I don’t want to get political. A lot of people might not be happy for what I’m saying, but I’m speaking from my own experience,” he added.
Yen also defended China during the interview, claiming that Western media tends to mischaracterize the country, saying, “The BBC, CNN, they never talk about that [China’s advancements]. They never mention the true side of it. But I’m there, you know?”
DONNIE YEN ALMOST PASSED ON ‘ROGUE ONE’ ROLE
China’s President Xi Jinping (C) waves as he stands onstage with Hong Kong performer Lisa Wang (L) and actor Donnie Yen (R) as Xi joins performers at the end of a variety show in Hong Kong on June 30, 2017. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)
He has previously, as the outlet reported, proudly called himself “100 percent Chinese.”
Yen will star alongside Keanu Reeves in “John Wick: Chapter 4” in the latest installment of the action-thriller franchise.
The film is set to debut on May 27.
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Taylor Penley is a production assistant with Fox News.