Gong Li is under fire after vowing not to join the Golden Horse race again

Chinese actress Gong Li arrives ahead of the Golden Horse Film Awards in Taipei on Nov 22, 2014. Gong Li has come under fire after apparently vowing not to take part in the "unprofessional" Golden Horse Awards any more. -- PHOTO: AFP
Chinese actress Gong Li arrives ahead of the Golden Horse Film Awards in Taipei on Nov 22, 2014. Gong Li has come under fire after apparently vowing not to take part in the "unprofessional" Golden Horse Awards any more. -- PHOTO: AFP

Hong Kong - Gong Li has come under fire after apparently vowing not to take part in the "unprofessional" Golden Horse Awards any more.

She had been the hot favourite to win Best Actress last Saturday, but lost unexpectedly to Chen Shiang-chyi. In a statement issued by her manager on Tuesday, Gong, 48, was quoted as saying: "Special thanks to the Golden Horse Awards for giving me this opportunity to understand what an unprofessional film festival is like. And everyone in the arts will look down on an unfair film festival."

Gong, who left Taiwan on Monday, said she would return to the island but not the awards show, reported Ming Pao Daily News. "This was my first time at the Golden Horse Awards, and it will be my last time," she was quoted as saying.

Her Taiwanese manager Tseng Jing-chau characterised the star as a Shandong girl who has always been outspoken, said NetEase website. He said Gong's statement was a response to all the results on Sunday, and not just her loss.

Director Sylvia Chang, who chairs the executive committee of the awards, dismissed the statement, reported Ming Pao. She said Gong "did not say this herself".

Gong was nominated for her role as an amnesiac wife in the romance Coming Home. Chen was voted the winner for her role as a lonely, middle-aged woman in the drama Exit by a jury led by actress Joan Chen.

On Wednesday, Joan Chen denied rumours of rivalry between her and Gong, and said she had voted for Gong in all three rounds. Writing on Weibo, she said the speculation was "silly" and "fictitious".

"I've always admired and appreciated Gong Li's acting and I think she is precise and moving in a demanding role in Coming Home. I cast my three Golden Horse votes for Gong Li."

Director Shen Ko-shang, who also sits on the Golden Horse executive committe, spoke up for Chen, said Ming Pao. He said she had been the first to praise Gong's performance.

Ming Pao said three other members of the jury, actor Aaron Kwok, directors Stanley Kwan and Stephen Fung, also voted for Gong, who lost by one vote to Chen Shiang-chyi.

On the Internet, Gong was attacked by some and defended by others.

The actress has been on the jury at film festivals including Cannes, Berlin and Venice, but Hong Kong director Shu Kei called her an ignorant "frog in the well" for thinking she was unbeatable, said Ming Pao.

Gong has a Taiwanese manager who "should understand how the Golden Horse Awards work", Shu wrote on Facebook. And even Meryl Streep is not nominated for an Oscar every year, he added. "Are you better than Auntie Meryl?"

Some Taiwanese netizens said they did not want to watch her "amateur performances" any more, and that she should be declared persona non grata, reported China Times.

Across the Taiwan Strait, some Chinese netizens believed that the statement was fabricated by Taiwanese reporters. Others said the Taiwanese had been rude to Gong first.

One commentor noted how television host Pink Yang mocked Gong on the red carpet.

"Gong Li said she would act in a comedy, and Yang actually said, 'Let's talk after you get the Best Actress award.' It's very rude," wrote the netizen.