Donnie Yen has responded to a petition that called for his removal as a presenter for the 2023 Academy Awards ceremony due to his support of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Days before the actor introduced “This is a Life,” the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” song nominated for best original song, a Change.org petition calling for Yen’s removal as an Oscars presenter had accumulated tens of thousands of signatures.
The petition came after Yen maintained his support for the Chinese government and condemned the 2019 Hong Kong protesters in an interview last month for “John Wick: Chapter 4.”
“It wasn’t a protest, okay, it was a riot,” Yen told GQ.
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Despite efforts to remove Yen from his role at this year’s Oscars, the actor stood onstage on March 12 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood to present the best original song award to “Naatu Naatu” from the Indian Telugu-language film “RRR.”
On the eve of the Oscars, Yen praised “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actor Michelle Yeoh for her work, voicing support and hope for her eventual best actress win. He also addressed the petition.
“I’m allowed to love my own culture,” he told Variety in an interview released this week. “Love my own country. Why cannot I be patriotic? This whole online cyber-bullying/cancel culture has got to stop. You can’t own somebody’s thoughts. And you want to silence them? It’s totally hypocrites.”
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Although the Oscars have passed, the petition is still active and currently has over 114,000 signatures.
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