SHANGHAI (AFP) — Sharon Stone is not welcome at this year's Shanghai International Film Festival, organisers said Wednesday, as anger continued to boil over her suggestion that China's earthquake was karmic payback for its handling of Tibet.
Stone attended last year's edition of the festival to promote anti-ageing creams for Christian Dior, but the company removed all ads in China featuring the actress after she made the remarks at the Cannes Film Festival last month.
The 50-year-old actress was not scheduled to attend the nine-day festival, which begins on June 14, but organisers made it clear on Wednesday that they do not want her at the event, one of the largest of its kind in East Asia.
"We are not inviting her to the festival this year," a festival spokeswoman said, declining to give her name. "That's a very timely step."
The "Basic Instinct" star said in a red carpet interview on May 22 in Cannes that she was unhappy with the Chinese government's treatment of Tibetans.
"And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma -- when you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?" she said in footage that is widely available on the Internet.
Stone admitted in an interview with The New York Times on the weekend that she had sounded like "an idiot," but she denied making an apology that Dior China issued in her name.
"I'm not going to apologise," Stone told the newspaper, recounting her conversation with the company. "I'm certainly not going to apologise for something that isn't real or true. Not for face creams."
Shanghai festival organisers said Stone's comments were inexcusable and that they were considering permanently banning her.
"We are indignant," the spokeswoman said. "She should have respected Chinese people's feelings and showed some sympathy to those who suffered from the earthquake."
More than 69,000 died in the May 12 earthquake, which was China's worst natural disaster in a generation. More than 18,000 remain missing and millions were left homeless.
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