It's one thing when a native American rips his own country. But what about those high-profile people who've made the United States their adopted home? How much criticism is allowed?
Piers Morgan, who has taken over Larry King's role as CNN's interview zsar, has discovered just how controversial this can be, considering his fiercely anti-gun stance over the past month. Just check the White House petition list for "deport Piers."
Now stepping into this delicate political arena is actor Jackie Chan, who is on record as calling the United States "the most corrupt country on the planet."
Uh-oh. That's a headline maker.
Chan, a Chinese performer born in Hong Kong, has made a small mint making Hollywood pictures like "Rumble in the Bronx" and the "Rush Hour" series. In other words, this supposedly corrupt nation has been very, very good to him.
Of course, he deserves success. Chan has a talent for martial arts and a knack for comic delivery -- despite a limited English vocabulary.
But, as the Washington Post points out, American film fans may not realize "He is passionately political, a staunch defender of the Chinese Communist Party and harsh critic of anyone he sees as opposing Beijing."
We all know that includes the United States and most of the West.
In a Chinese TV interview, Chan made that controversial comment about a country that helped line his pocket and ripped into any Chinese who have the audacity to criticize China in a public forrum.
Here are his comments, translated into English by Ministry of Tofu, which also has the video.
Jackie Chan: The New China. The real success has been made in the past dozen of years. Our country’s president also admits they have the corruption problem, and some other stuff, but we are making progress. What I can see is our country is continuously making progress and learning. If you talk about corruption, the entire world, the United State, has no corruption?
Chan: The most corrupt in the world.
Chan: Of course. Where does this Great Breakdown [financial crisis] come from? It started exactly from the world, the United States. When I was interviewed in the U.S., people asked me, I said the same thing. I said now that China has become strong, everyone is making an issue of China. If our own countrymen don’t support our country, who will support our country? We know our country has many problems. We [can] talk about it when the door is closed. To outsiders, [we should say] “our country is the best.”
Host: So he can’t get enough of his more than 20 ambassador titles. I think the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should ask him to be the ambassador to the United States.
Chan: Seriously, I am always like, when the door is closed, “Our country is like this and this. Who and who is not good.” But outside, “Our country is the best, like so and so, is the best.” You cannot say our country has problems [when you are outside], like “Yes, our country is bad.”