Donnie Yen Experienced Discrimination at an Overseas Organization

By on March 26, 2019 in Hot Gossip!, NEWS

Donnie Yen Experienced Discrimination at an Overseas Organization

Donnie Yen (甄子丹) and his family suffered discrimination by overseas organizers for a charity event, prompting his good friend Ray Lui (呂良偉) to help put out the fire.

His wife, Cissy Wang (汪詩詩), briefly talked about the incident on social media. She wrote on Instagram, “One of my favorite films this year is [Green Book]. So much to learn from human kindness, respect, arrogance, racial discrimination and dignity. Never would I imagine to experience certain aspects of his film, in this day and age, especially in our own hometown. Tonight we experienced discrimination by an organization from overseas. Prioritized and supported a charity but in return was shocked by the treatment.”

The following day Ray Lui, who was also a guest at the charity, recalled the previous nights’ events to the press: “I was still outside doing photos when I saw Donnie and his wife walking out of the ballroom looking angry. He told me that he was leaving, and when I asked him what was wrong, he said that he was being discriminated against by foreigners. As his friend, of course I left with him. I immediately booked a table for dinner. I told him to be calm. When we go back home, I’ll open a fresh bottle of good wine.”

Ray added that as an overseas organizer doing an event in Hong Kong, they should be respectful to the people of the host city.

According to Ray, a dispute between Donnie and the organizers happened when the martial arts actor was given a “bad spot” to sit. Donnie expressed his concerns to the staff, but they responded rudely in return. After leaving the venue, Donnie received a call from the event organizers, apologizing to Donnie on behalf of the staff and expressing that they had fixed his seating arrangement. Despite the apology, Donnie decided not to return.

“This isn’t his first time,” said Ray. “He’s definitely experienced discrimination when doing Hollywood movies. All Chinese actors who have worked overseas could relate to this. This is why I believe our country needs to stay strong so we’ll be respected.”


This article is written by Addy for

13 comments to Donnie Yen Experienced Discrimination at an Overseas Organization

  1. potatochip says:

    I haven’t seen Green Book, yet, but its Oscar win was heavily criticized. Many in the Black community were offended by the movie because of its superficial treatment of essential, life-saving historical book guide in order to make a feel-good movie to elevate a white man. The black man’s perspective was simply an aside in a story that was suppose to be about racism and the dangers of being black.

    If Cissy’s frame of reference of black racism was limited to movies like Green Book, I understand why she thought racism is mostly in the past. These movies downplay racism – historical and modern. They “solve” racism to win Oscars. That is why she was caught so off-guard by the disrespectful treatment.

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    • funnlim replied:

      @potatochip I saw the green book and it is one of the best acted and profound movie about race and friendship. I don’t get why the criticism when the movie shows how the educated refined black man supposedly the pariah enriched and enlightened the mind of an uneducated unrefined borderline racist white man and together they became close friends. It is driving miss daisy but the other way around. Authencity aside, I find the movie positive. The black man was astute in the face of hate and discrimination, that he was good enough to play music for the white audience but not good enough to share toilets whilst the white man who appreciated his talent before he learn to appreciate his person in the end welcomed him to his home for dinner. Before that the black man drove the drunk white man home. This gesture was symbolic of the respect and affection the black guy had for the white man as much as when the white man told of some worker for not providing the piano the black man will only play on. Throughout ghe movienas the pair travelled deeper into south yhere was a danger the black man coukd be hurt. Racism and oppression is felt but not the main theme. As to the criticisms, I find the black community thrive on movies depicting their suffering as the only focus or entire nation being wakanda. Do watch green book. Irregardless if the story was very true or not quite true, it was a beautiful movie at times funny at times witty at times stoic but most of the time like how the black man conducted himself, stand straight with integrity.

      As for Donnie, could be true or could be he was pissed he wasn’t treated with the star treatment be wanted. Ray certainly had no issue where he himself was sitting. I think Donnie can’t compare himself to the discrimination the blacks felt during the 50 or 60s if it was a matter of don’t you know who I am, i am Donnie yen!

      But could be true.

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      • potatochip replied:

        @funnlim I am in this diverse 2000+ member Facebook group with over half of them Black professional women. They were very concerned with the overall theme of this movie and offended that a story titled “Green Book” glossed over racism and oppression when it should have been the main theme. I know it is not fair for me to judge because I have not seen the movie myself, but I trust their insights and also the editorials from the black community.

        I agree with you that Dr. Shirley, the black man, is and should be the hero of the movie, but he was relegated to supporting to the white character. Dr. Shirley, when alive, did not want a movie made about him. When the director and producers of this movie made it, they only consulted Tony’s son but no members of Dr. Shirley’s family. There were a lot of inaccuracies and outright lies about this story. Tony did not work for Dr. Shirley as long as the movie depicted and was actually fired by Dr. Shirley. I don’t know the details, but supposedly the movie said Dr. Shirley had to be taught how to eat fried chicken or that he didn’t know his brother. These are lies that perpetuates the stereotypes that black people are ignorant or that they have fractured families or poor bonds. The family felt that the director used Dr. Shirley’s name and the pain of racism in order to make a feel good, financially rewarding but superficial movie.

        This was suppose to be a story about a black man, needing to use a book written by black people, in order to survive the racism and violence against black people. But again, he was the supporting character to the white guy’s enlightenment. The director didn’t even mention or thank Dr. Shirley in his acceptance speech. Dr. Shirley was just a prop.

        I don’t think it is wrong for non-black people to be touched by this movie. It is a profound subject. I think the director and producers had the best intentions when making it, but everyone who was in charge (director, producers, writers) were white and they didn’t even consult Dr. Shirely’s family. You don’t know what you don’t know. That is why they missed the deeper nuances and heart of black history and culture. For an analogy, it is as if someone wanted to make a movie about the Japanese American internment camps but didn’t ask a single person who has been through it their perceptions and experiences. It would come across as hallow to the Japanese survivors.

        I do plan on seeing it for myself one day. And I would probably be moved by it, but I know that I can’t discount how the black community feels about it. It had a lot more potential to be more accurate, to not be afraid of showing the true horrors of those times, of how they still permeate daily life for black Americans now, and to center it around the black person instead of the white savior.

        Here are some articles that explains things much better than me:

        Here’s a humorous take on the concerns:

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  2. mike says:

    “According to Ray, a dispute between Donnie and the organizers happened when the martial arts actor was given a “bad spot” to sit.”

    Don’t know what happened in there but that does sound like Donnie to be a diva and get pissed if he doesn’t get a seat he wants.

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    • jimmyszeto replied:

      Seems like it was Donnie Yen’s wife who is known to have a great temperament who posted about being discriminated by the staff at the event. If so then it is likely that there was some sort of unfair treatment…

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    • nigel replied:

      @mike definitely drama diva Donnie

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    • nomad822 replied:


      Yup, I read DIVA drama too – maybe the seat wasn’t what he/his wife deemed HIGH profile enough – befitting of his ‘status’.

      I am biased though.
      Don’t enjoy Donnie Yen – he gives off (what we call in Singapore local speak) ‘ya-ya’ (reeking of arrogance) thypevibes. Ditto Ray Lui.

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  3. coralie says:

    Donnie Yen may be a diva and therefore, he might be asking for special treatment. But if the attendee was Jackie Chan, nobody would show him any disrespect. Not even Americans, ’cause he’s well known. Not saying DY is on par with JC, but it goes to show that you will get discriminated against if your status isn’t high enough (as far as foreigners are concerned.)

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    • jimmyszeto replied:

      Maybe Donnie Yen isn’t well know enough outside of HK/China for Americans to give him special treatment. I wouldn’t think it is discrimination if people are seated accordingly based to their fame level…

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      • coralie replied:

        @jimmyszeto True. Can’t call it discrimination in that case.

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    • anon replied:


      That’s what I was thinking too. I think he was given a ‘bad spot’ due to his fame, not his ethnicity/race. I think it’s just another case of DY blowing things out of proportion.

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  4. megamiaow says:

    Hold on, that is not discrimination. Since when does not being given a good seat indicate racial discrimination to which they seem to allude to?

    Most certainly seems like staff didnt regard him highly enough, and he was miffed about it, but he shouldnt be calling it something it wasnt. There are many other chinese who genuinely receive discrimination, he shouldnt casually claim it just because he felt he was mistreated.

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  5. dankwok2110 says:

    Leaving an event for a good cause just because of bad seat? Childish… Supporting good cause comes from the heart, not for publicity

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