Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 10:42 UK

Anger over star's quake remarks

Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone made the comments to a Hong Kong film crew

Actress Sharon Stone has sparked criticism in China after claiming the recent earthquake could have been the result of bad "karma".

The US star, speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, linked the recent disaster to Beijing's policy on Tibet.

She said: "I thought, 'Is that karma?' When you are not nice, bad things happen to you."

But Stone added she "cried" after the Tibetan Foundation asked her to help quake victims.

Stone, 50, said: "They wanted to go and be helpful, and that made me cry.

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
Sharon Stone

"It was a big lesson to me that sometimes you have to learn to put your head down and be of service even to people who aren't nice to you."

Stone made her comments last week in a brief interview with a Hong Kong film crew.

"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 footage widely available on the internet.

"And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma?"

Ng See-Yuen, founder of the UME Cineplex chain and the chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, called Stone's comments "inappropriate".

According to a story in trade magazine Hollywood Reporter, he vowed not to show Stone's films in his theatres.

Film boycott

UME has branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, China's biggest urban movie markets.

Stone's comments also created a swell of anger on the internet, including at least one Chinese website devoted solely to disparaging her comments.

The Beijing Times also reported that some major Beijing department stores had removed advertisements for cosmetic and couture giant Christian Dior, which feature Stone's image.

The earthquake struck south-west China on 12 May, leaving 68,109 people dead, with another 19,851 still missing.

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