BEIJING (AFP) — US actress Sharon Stone has sparked a storm of criticism in China after suggesting the earthquake that killed at least 67,000 was bad "karma" after Beijing's policy in Tibet, state media said Wednesday.
Stone, 50, made the remarks at the Cannes Film Festival last week, leading to pledges by some Chinese cinemas not to show her films again, and reportedly motivating a cosmetics chain to remove advertisements with her image.
"I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else," Stone said in Cannes, according to footage widely available on YouTube.
"I've been concerned about how should we deal with the Olympics, because they are not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a good friend of mine," she said.
"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?"
The Beijing Times on Wednesday quoted Ng See-Yuen, founder of the UME Cineplex chain, as saying that from now on, no film featuring Stone would be shown in any UME cinema in Hong Kong or the mainland.
Stone's most recent movie is The Year of Getting to Know Us, and four other movies starring the actress are scheduled in the period to 2010, according to the movie website www.imdb.com.
The Beijing Times also reported that the Chinese public relations company for cosmetic and couture giant Christian Dior -- which uses Stone extensively in its advertisements -- had distanced itself from her remarks.
Dior boutiques in major Beijing department stores that had until recently featured advertisements with Stone's image had also removed these images by late Tuesday, the paper said.
Meanwhile, Chinese online activists have criticised Stone for her remarks, using YouTube among other forums to spread their message.
"I want her to say sorry. It's not for me. It's for the dead people," said a young man, who described himself as a Chinese called Adam.
"I hope this video is usable for people to get together and help each other and let Sharon Stone say sorry," he said in his YouTube video, which had been seen by more than 18,000 as of early Wednesday.
The May 12 earthquake, which struck in southwest China's Sichuan province, is the nation's worst natural disaster in a generation.
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