Yeoh would have beaten Weinstein up

Actresses Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh (above).
Actresses Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh (above). PHOTO: REUTERS
Actresses Zhang Ziyi (above) and Michelle Yeoh.
Actresses Zhang Ziyi (above) and Michelle Yeoh.PHOTO: SGIFF 2014

HONG KONG • Film producer Harvey Weinstein, who has lost his reputation, his job and his Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences membership in an extraordinary fall from grace within 1½ weeks, should still thank his lucky stars.

It could have been worse: For instance, if he had tried to have one of his hotel room encounters with Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, she would have unleashed "years of martial arts training" on him.

On Wednesday, Yeoh and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi became the biggest Asian stars to lash out at Weinstein, after The New York Times and The New Yorker detailed multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against him.

In another repercussion, Harvard University revoked the W.E.B. Du Bois award it had given the producer in 2014 for his contributions to African-American films.

He was an executive producer of two of Yeoh's recent projects, the 2014-2016 historical series Marco Polo and the 2016 sequel to the Oscar-winning 2000 movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The actress is also an ambassador for Aids research foundation amfAR, which he worked with for decades.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Yeoh said: "I knew he was a bully and not always honourable. I wasn't exposed to this side of him, otherwise he would have experienced the full effect of years of martial arts training."

Zhang, who starred with Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and broke into Hollywood, told the Associated Press she was glad not to have worked with Weinstein.

He had tried to lure her into a film deal, promising to help her win an Academy Award, but she refused because his conditions were unfair, she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2017, with the headline 'Yeoh would have beaten Weinstein up'. Print Edition | Subscribe