China film fest bans Stone

HONG KONG - The backlash in China against actress Sharon Stone continued yesterday. The Shanghai International Film Festival said she was not welcome at this year's event.

HONG KONG - The backlash in China against actress Sharon Stone continued yesterday. The Shanghai International Film Festival said she was not welcome at this year's event.

The 50-year-old Basic Instinct star provoked outrage in China after suggesting that the earthquake last month in Sichuan province may have been the result of bad "karma" because of Beijing's rule in Tibet.

French fashion house Christian Dior dropped Stone from its Chinese advertisements after she made the comments in May during a Cannes Film Festival red-carpet interview.

Stone, who walked the red carpet in Shanghai last year, will not be invited back soon, Shanghai International Film Festival spokesman Tang Bing said.

Tang said film festival organisers sent Stone a letter protesting her remarks and demanding an apology.

Stone has said she was "deeply sorry" for causing anguish and anger among Chinese people, and offered to take part in quake relief efforts.

She previously impressed the festival organisers in Shanghai with her charity work and her appearance last year.

Stone's comments therefore came as a surprise, Tang said.

"She showed her affinity for the Chinese people and her affinity for Shanghai. She didn't say any bad things," said Tang.

The Shanghai festival is scheduled for June 14 to June 22.

The death toll from the massive May 12 earthquake in China has passed 69100. - Sapa-AP

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