Leon Dai replaced in film over political stance

TAIPEI • Chinese actress-director Vicki Zhao has replaced Taiwanese actor Leon Dai in an upcoming movie after he failed to clarify his political stance, according to a report yesterday quoting the production team of No Other Love.

"Following Dai's initial statement, the director and investors had both expressed hope that he could provide a fuller explanation to the public and state his stance more clearly on important issues.

"Because Dai remained vague on his stance, the director and investors decided to replace Dai as the lead actor," the production team said in a statement, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

Zhao had faced online criticism in China after she posted a photo on Weibo of herself and the cast of the romance, including Dai, when the filming wrapped up last month.

Netizens immediately called for a boycott of the movie, calling Dai a pro-independence supporter.

Last week, the Communist Youth League posted an article saying Zhao had been criticised since April when she announced the cast list, NetEase reported. Netizens had said Dai also supported Hong Kong's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement.

Subsequently, Dai, 49, made public a statement denying being pro-independence, saying he has not joined any political parties and did not accept being called an independence supporter.

The Alibaba Pictures-backed No Other Love is Zhao's second directorial feature after her 2013 romance, So Young.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'Leon Dai replaced in film over political stance'. Print Edition | Subscribe