Who is — and isn’t — included on a possible blacklist of artists calls it authenticity into question.
Hong Kong-based newspaper Apple Daily on Friday published an alleged blacklist of actors and musicians from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and a host of foreign countries, including Taiwan film star Shu Qi and American punk band Suicidal Tendencies.
The newspaper attributed the list to a source within China’s film and television regulatory agencies or the Ministry of Culture, and indicated that those on the list would not be permitted to perform or otherwise work on the Chinese mainland.
The purported list includes actress Shu Qi, one of Greater China’s most popular film figures, along with others including Taiwan actress Vivian Hsu and director Wu Nien-jen. Hong Kong actors Chapman To and Anthony Wong, also appear. No American actors were named, but musicians including American band Suicidal Tendencies do.
Apple Daily stated that the list exists to punish those named for their support of Hong Kong or Taiwan independence, or for support of causes the Chinese government deems to be in opposition to it, such as Tibetan independence.
While China has published actual blacklists, including banning 120 songs in April 2015 for political, sexual, or violent themes, who is and isn’t included calls the authenticity of the new list into question. Shu remains very popular in China, and despite getting her start in soft porn, enjoys mainstream acclaim and success. Notably absent is actor Richard Gere, whose support for Tibetan independence and friendship with the Dalai Lama has made the An Officer and a Gentleman star a long-time enemy of China.
Also not included is band Bon Jovi, which had a 2016 performance in Beijing canceled, possibly due to the use of the Dalai Lama’s image during a concert. Icelandic singer Bjork made a pro-Tibetan comment from the stage in 2008 and has apparently been persona non grata ever since. Suicidal Tendencies is named on the list, but former bass player Robert Trujillo performed with his current band, Metallica, in 2013, and is set to do so again in two shows in China in January.