Action film superstar Jackie Chan may have made millions of dollars at the U.S. box office, but this doesn’t mean he has to like the country that helped make him an international name. In an interview on a Hong Kong television show, Chan expressed some pretty baffling anti-Americanism, calling the U.S. “the most corrupt [country] in the world.”
Chan appeared on Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television last month to discuss his new movie. While it began as a typical publicity appearance, Chan soon started talking about Chinese censorship and the government’s efforts to end corruption. Then, almost out of the blue, Chan called America “the most corrupt [country] in the world.”
After that, the martial-arts movie star blamed the slow world economy on the U.S. and claimed that Chinese people must be careful not to criticize the government. Read an excerpt of Chan’s remarkes below, as published by Ministry of Tofu.
“Where does this Great Breakdown (depression) come from?” Chan asked rhetorically. “It started exactly from the world, the United States. When I was interviewed in the U.S., people asked me, I said the same thing. I said now that China has become strong, everyone is making an issue of China. If our own countrymen don’t support our country, who will support our country? We know our country has many problems. We (can) talk about it when the door is closed. To outsiders, (we should say,) ‘our country is the best.’”
Ministry of Tofu noted that this was not the first time Chan had offered some rather bizarre words about America and the West. In a particularly memorable speech on Chinese censorship in 2009, Chan said Japan, Taiwan, and the U.S. have “too much freedom.”
“With too much freedom, it can get very chaotic, like today’s Hong Kong, or like today’s Taiwan, also very chaotic,” Chan said. “I am starting to think we Chinese people need to be reined, otherwise they will do whatever they want ... Many people, unlike those in the United States and Japan, have no self-respect. When you have no self-respect, the government steps in and rein you in.”
And, just for the record, InvestorPlace has reported Chan has earned roughly $130 million from his films, largely due to their success at the American box office.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.