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Sharon Stone: Heart of Stone?
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Ng, the founder of the UME Cineplex chain and the chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, called Stone's comments "inappropriate" and said the UME Cineplex chain would consider banning the star's films in the future.

"Sharon Stone's remarks shocked and angered all the Chinese and everybody else around the world, " Hong Kong singer Nicholas Wu said. "To call a natural disaster, which killed tens of thousands of people, as 'karma', shows no respect for the Chinese people and no respect for life."

Tens of thousands of furious posts also appeared on Chinese Internet forums. A Shanghai bookstore has removed all the actress' movie products going on sale in China, to voice their protest. Simultaneously, a new nationwide boycott campaign against Stone's sponsor, the fashion giant Christian Dior SA under LVMH group, quickly followed suit.

A Dior rep for their Chinese branch said that their company was "absolutely in disagreement with her opinion". Company executives were holding urgent discussion in hopes of resolving the issue. This is yet another new public relations emergency for LVMH since the French goods and Carrefour boycotts and protests were held in China a month ago. The boycotts were initiated due to some disgraceful behavior by several Paris politicians and Tibetan separatists who tried to cast a shadow on China's Olympic torch relay but backfired.

Sharon Stone's acting career has fallen into an abyss. Clearly her self-anticipated "revival" via Basic Instinct 2 bombed after earning only US$3,200,000 during its debut weekend on March 31, 2006. Ironically, she was invited to the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2007, where she praised China as "a great country".

(China.org.cn May 27, 2008)

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