Angelina Jolie Calling Director Ang Lee Taiwanese Spurs Attacks from Chinese Netizens, Sparks Nationality Wars

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By Annie Dee | June 13, 2014 5:58 PM EST

"Maleficent" star, Angelina Jolie managed to offend Chinese people by making a simple comment. In an interview, she said famous director, Ang Lee is Taiwanese and this caused immediate outrage among the Chinese people. The Chinese were so offended they want to ban Jolie from ever entering China, the Guardian reports. It can be remembered that her husband, Brad Pitt was banned as well. Still, Jolie managed to bring Pitt to the country for this business trip.

Reuters
Actress and campaigner Angelina Jolie and her partner, actor Brad Pitt look at photographs at a fringe event of a summit to end sexual violence in conflict at the Excel centre in London June 12, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

While promoting Disney hit "Maleficent" in Shanghai, China, Angelina Jolie reportedly made a controversial comment that prompted Chinese citizens, especially netizens to call her names and requests to have her blacklisted from the country. Angelina Jolie is said to have insulted the Chinese people by calling Ang Lee, Taiwanese. Asked if she'll ever consider working with a Chinese director, Angelina committed a major slip up by saying, "I am not sure if you consider Ang Lee Chinese, he's Taiwanese, but he does many Chinese-language films with many Chinese artists and actors"

"I think his works and the actors in his films are the ones I am most familiar with and very fond of," Jolie added.

Whether Angelina Jolie did this on purpose to prove a point or she honestly thought it was a harmless comment is unclear. Intentional or not, the Chinese people who went on to attack and diss her do not care.  Chinese people take the comment as Jolie's refusal to recognize Taiwan as part of China. By claiming Ang Lee is Taiwanese and whether he can be considered a Chinese, Jolie made Chinese communists, who strongly believe that Taiwan is a rogue state that is still part of China. Jolie's comment riled Chinese people who do not recognize Taiwan's sovereignty. Some of them even questioned the A-List actress's intelligence.

One netizen took to Weibo, one of the popular social  media in China, and wrote: "In a moment of excitement, a brilliant woman became a stupid laughing stock." Other netizens equated the "Maleficent" star to a "deranged Taiwan independence supporter." Netizens did not stop here. They started warning people against watching "Maleficent" too or else they are traitors.

Naturally, she received support among Taiwan netizens. One person wrote: "Her comment about Ang Lee being Taiwanese shows she fully deserves to be the goodwill ambassador for the UN. She is not afraid to tell the truth."

It can be remembered that Angelina Jolie's husband is not well-accepted among Chinese people either. In fact, he was banned from entering the country after he appeared in the film "Seven Years in Tibet," which showed Dalai Lama in a good light while fighting against China's ownership of the region. This blacklist did not stop the actor from accompanying wife on this current promotion trip though.

A Shanghai spokesperson for Disney, the film's studio, produced a statement saying Jolie's comments reflect her own opinion and Disney does not have anything to do with it. 

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Actress and campaigner Angelina Jolie and her partner, actor Brad Pitt look at photographs at a fringe event of a summit to end sexual violence in conflict at the Excel centre in London June 12, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
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