Making history as the first Asian to garner the “Best Actress” accolade at Oscars 2023 with Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, Michelle Yeoh (楊紫瓊) received congratulatory messages from numerous heavyweight Asian celebrities including Stephen Chow (周星馳), Donnie Yen (甄子丹), Daniel Wu (吴彦祖), Li Bingbing (李冰冰), Coco Lee (李玟) and famed director Ang Lee (李安).
Having directed Michelle in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon <臥虎藏龍>, Ang Lee sent his well wishes at the first hour through his personal assistant Li Liangshan. “Very happy for Michelle, congratulations to her!” However, the cast members of the martial arts film including lead actor Chow Yun Fat (周潤發), supporting actor Chang Chen (張震) and actress Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) have yet to congratulate her on her win.
While Chow Yun Fat and Chang Chen did not raise eyebrows since they have not been high-profile on social media all along, Zhang Ziyi’s continuing silence on Michelle’s win has been unusual since she is known to actively update. This set netizens’ tongues wagging, as they start to speculate if there is bad blood between the two.
Zhang Ziyi Silences Critics by Reporting Comments?
Besides Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi also worked together in Memoirs of a Geisha alongside actress Gong Li (巩俐). With their multiple onscreen collaborations, fans are reasoning that the two actresses, both outstanding thespians in their own rights, are likely close competitors in the entertainment industry.
Netizens took to mocking Zhang Ziyi for her inaction and insinuated that it was a case of sour grapes as she fell behind Michelle, who had played second fiddle to her in Memoirs but is now miles ahead, while yet others called her out for lacking gracefulness. A fan was allegedly reported by Zhang Ziyi herself and had her commented eventually deleted by the microblogging platform (user with more than 100,000 followers have more powers in silencing their critics). In her defense, some netizens reasoned that she might already have sent her well wishes personally, while yet others implied that it was not a big deal even if she did not carry out the tokenistic act, given her accomplishments and stature in the industry.