Fan Bingbing's name stripped from movie poster

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has not appeared in public since she was recently involved in a storm over her alleged inking of two contracts in a bid to avoid paying taxes.
Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has not appeared in public since she was recently involved in a storm over her alleged inking of two contracts in a bid to avoid paying taxes.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BEIJING • The disappearance of Fan Bingbing continued as her name in a poster for an upcoming movie has been removed.

The top Chinese actress has not appeared in public since she was recently involved in a storm over her alleged inking of two contracts in a bid to avoid paying taxes.

She has not updated her Weibo, China's version of Twitter, for more than two months, and her last activity on Weibo was when she liked several posts on July 26.

She has reportedly been dropped as a spokesman for at least one brand of luxury product.

In the latest development, her name has been removed from the poster of Unbreakable Spirit, a Chinese movie on events during World War II.

Fan has a small role in the movie, but her name was placed prominently in the original movie poster, Chengdu Economic Daily reported.

Information on her has been removed from the movie's Weibo account, but moviegoers who attended a sneak preview of the movie in Chongqing city said her scene has not been deleted .

Unbreakable Spirit was originally scheduled to be released next Friday, but the distributor announced on Weibo that the release in China would be moved to Oct 26 to coincide with the global release.

The movie boasted a star-studded cast, including Chinese actor Liu Ye, American actor Bruce Willis and South Korean actor Song Seung-heon.

There were also special appearances by American actor Adrien Brody and Hong Kong stars such as Nicholas Tse, Eric Tsang and Simon Yam.

American actor-director Mel Gibson, who directed critically acclaimed war movie Hacksaw Ridge (2016), served as art director for Unbreakable Spirit.

In late May, Cui Yongyuan, a former television host with state broadcaster CCTV, disclosed the existence of the so-called "yin-and-yang contracts" in the Chinese entertainment field.

The revelation led to several speculations and Fan's office released a statement later claiming elements of insinuation and defamation.

Chinese newspaper The Economic Observer reported late last month that Fan and her brother Fan Chengcheng were barred from leaving China.

There were subsequent reports in the Chinese media that she is under investigation or under arrest, but the allegations have not been substantiated. Her office has rebutted the allegations, but Fan's whereabouts remain unknown.

According to last year's Forbes China Celebrity List, Fan was the highest-earning Chinese celebrity for the fourth consecutive year, earning 300 million yuan (S$59 million) a year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2018, with the headline 'Fan Bingbing's name stripped from movie poster'. Print Edition | Subscribe