Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sharon Stone Hoopla

I'm sure you've heard of this drama by now ... here are the actual words Sharon Stone said in reference to the Chinese earthquake:

"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. They are not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a good friend of mine. 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?"

My first thought, and the thought that I can't let go of, is this is tacky, tacky, tacky. I know that's not the most erudite observation. The little I do know of Tibetan Buddhism is that a lot of it revolves around compassion, and Ms. Stone, who purports to be a friend of the Dalai Lama is not showing much compassion for the more than 65,000 people who died in the earthquake, nor the others who survived and are suffering in the aftermath.

As a result of the statement, Ms. Stone has been dropped in China by Dior, who has been using her image for advertising, and her films have been banned from China by a major distributer. Here is an article that details some of the ensuing mess related to the controversy.

And I do recognize there is a bit of a gray area here. Sometimes we can use death and tragedy as a red flag to show us that political change must happen. Take Myanmar as an example. Clearly, something needs to change with their leadership if the junta cannot even allow aid to come into the country after a natural disaster of that magnitude. But this does not seem like a reasoned, thoughtful understanding of a complicated situation shared with the goal in mind of helping people. It feels more like venting frustrating at the Chinese government and pulling the memories of tens of thousands of innocent people into the mud in the process.


exurgency/Spectacularrr said...

Uh, I think it's also hard to read / hear that quote without thinking that it sounds immensely flaky.

I don't know anything about what Stone is like in personal life and I don't presume to conclude whether she is intelligent or stupid -- but her word choice and phrasing makes her *sound* pretty shallow and, well...stupid. Which unfortunately would also fit with thoughtlessly tossing out an insensitive comment.

At the very least, if you're going to use a major tragedy to launch a point of criticism, you ought to carefully choose how and when you say it. Otherwise, you utterly ruin your credibility, which is exactly what Stone has done.

And while I think there's plenty the Chinese ought to be criticized for, there's also plenty the rest of the world has good cause to criticize America for -- yet we don't take it kindly when someone suggests that Septermber 11th is some sort of karmic come-uppance.

I don't feel too strongly about Stone's comments one way or the other, but they *seem* quite shallow and she's certainly suffering the obvious backlash, which is perhaps an appropriate "learning opportunity."

Jessica Knapp said...

Something else I just remembered, Sharon Stone is a spokesperson for stroke prevention. Several years ago, she had a stroke herself. I wonder if that plays into these comments she is making at all. Apparently the same day, she tried to get funds from P. Diddy at a fundraiser for AIDS (on camera, on microphone) and he said he didn't have the funds right now, she responded "did you spend it all on crack?" Wow! Not only is that dumb. It's racist. I wonder if from her stroke damage, she's lost part of the brain that deals with impulse control and thought regulation.