Ang Lee defends blacklisted Chinese "Lust" actress

Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:37am EDT
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Oscar-winning director Ang Lee has come out in support of Chinese actress Tang Wei, whose advertisements have been blacklisted in China following her steamy turn in Lee's "Lust, Caution."

China's State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) last week demanded local stations cease airing ads starring Tang, including her skin care commercials for cosmetics brand Pond's, local media reported.

Local media have linked the order to 28-year-old Tang's debut performance in the Chinese-language World War Two drama "Lust, Caution," which features lengthy and sometimes violent sex scenes with Hong Kong co-star Tony Leung.

Taiwanese-born Lee, who accepted cuts to "Lust" for it to be screened in China last year, had contacted Tang Wei to "console her," the Beijing News said, citing the director's assistant, Li Liangshan.

"I am very regretful that Tang Wei has been hurt by this decision," the paper quoted Lee as saying in a statement.

"She gave a great performance in this properly produced and distributed film. I will do everything I can to support her in this difficult time," Lee said.

Tang's deal with Pond's is reportedly worth 6 million yuan

($845,000).

Calls placed by Reuters seeking comment from the China office of Unilever, which owns the Pond's brand, went unanswered.   Continued...

 
<p>Taiwan-born film director Ang Lee (L) escorts Chinese actress Tang Wei during a Japan premiere event of their movie "Lust, Caution" in Tokyo January 24, 2008. Lee has come out in support of Tang, whose advertisements have been blacklisted in China following her steamy turn in Lee's "Lust, Caution". REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao</p>