Charmaine Sheh Embroiled in Controversy after Commenting on Hong Kong Extradition Protest
In Hong Kong last Sunday, one million people took to the streets to protest against a proposed extradition bill that would allow the transfer of people accused of crimes to Mainland China, where they could be at risk for ill-treatment and unfair trials. While many Hong Kong artistes avoided commenting on the political issue, Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) created a controversy when she showed support to the protest, and then later retracted her support after backlash from Mainland netizens.
Angered Mainland Netizens
Although Instagram is banned in Mainland China, a screenshot of Charmaine liking an Instagram post of the political protest was circulated on the Internet. Many Mainland netizens scolded Charmaine for her political stance on the issue and many demanded to ban Charmaine from China’s entertainment industry.
Eager to explain herself, Charmaine later posted her political stance on social media, “After work, I have a habit of browsing my friends’ Instagram. I browsed through a known photographer’s work and gave him a compliment. I was extremely shocked when I realized the content of the picture, and retracted my compliment. I, Charmaine Sheh, love the country and love Hong Kong. I don’t want others to over interpret this matter. Thank you everyone.”
Disappointed Hong Kong Netizens
Charmaine’s quick action caught the attention of many Hong Kong netizens who reminded Charmaine of her roots in Hong Kong, and questioned her loyalty and conscience. Disappointed by Charmaine’s actions, many Hong Kong netizens even quoted a scene from Charmaine’s drama, When Heaven Burns <天與地>, “This city is dying, you know.”
The popular drama, When Heaven Burns, was first aired in 2011 and gained a strong following for its daring themes that did not shy away from expressing dissatisfaction in the society. Much of the Hong Kong audience praised Charmaine’s character for her many memorable quotes that reflect the audience’s values and are still relevant to this day.
As many Hong Kong netizens believe Charmaine’s character in the drama embodies their sentiments in the turbulent political climate, they are vastly disheartened to see Charmaine withdrawing her support on the political issue.
This article was revised on June 15, 2019 at 9:09 a.m. to reflect updated figures from protest organizers that one million people protested on the streets against the proposed extradition bill last Sunday.
This article is written by Sammi for JayneStars.com.