Actress Sharon Stone linked China's treatment of Tibet to the earthquake that killed thousands earlier in May. "All this earthquake and all this stuff happened," she said during the Cannes Film Festival last week, "and I thought, is that karma—when you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?" Her statement elicited angry replies from China, where several cinemas vowed never to screen her films.
What the commentators said
Sharon Stone is just contributing to a "series of idiotic celebrity pronouncements on current events," said the Guardian's film blog. It's not like the Chinese people democratically elected their government and unilaterally as a people decided to "ride roughshod over Tibetan independence."
More importantly, mere mortals "might not be competent to judge the moral vector of acts of God," said Paul O'Donnell on Beliefnet's Idol Chatter blog. Even if China didn't have a "totalitarian government," you just can't link a calamity that left "millions of Chinese without homes and grieving their loved ones" to the policies of Beijing. "It makes her sound like a preacher blaming 9/11 on the ACLU, homosexuals, and abortionists."
But "listen to what she actually says," said American Buddhist Net. First, she doesn't say it's karma, but she asks it as a question. Then, she explains how the Tibetan foundation wanted to aid victims of the earthquake, and how the tragedy taught her “that sometimes you have to learn to put your head down and be of service even to people who aren’t nice to you.” People who reacted angrily to her statements "should listen to the whole tape and reconsider."
Either way, Stone is and always has been a "loudmouth idiot," said Richard Lawson on Gawker. "Most Americans and Europeans know this because the actress is always draping herself over podiums and auction stages, loudly and obnoxiously trying to drum up support for charity causes." Now, "another 1/5 of the world's population" can share our "kinda-like/hate" for her, too.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- Ban PowerPoint!
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Rise of the machines
Subscribe to the Week