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The Donnie Yen Fiasco: A Uyghur View

Even Hollywood could not escape the CCP: regime’s cheerleader Donnie Yen was among the presenters at the Oscars, notwithstanding widespread requests to “disinvite” him.

by Rebiya Kadeer and Kok Bayraq

March 16, 2023

Donnie Yen at the Oscars 2023. Screenshot.

Hong Kong action movie star Donnie Yen, who was appointed a member of the Chinese Political Consultative Conference in January of this year, was one of the presenters at the Oscar ceremony earlier this week. The previous week, Yen had appeared on screen at two meetings held in China and announced that he was honored by this appointment. A petition asking the Oscars Committee to remove Yen from the list of presenters gathered more than 100,000 signatures but was ignored.

Unless Yen lives on another planet, he knows about international news reports and criticisms of the Uyghur genocide. Even if he may doubt the accusation of genocide, a famous artist should refrain from being perceived as an accomplice of an accused murderer and mastermind of such a crime against humanity. His proud acceptance of this partnership angered the victims of this genocide—Uyghurs inside and outside East Turkistan (Xinjiang to China).

Yen stated, “It is a great honor to be a new member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. It is a great responsibility.” He continued this speech, not as an actor, but with a militant tone: “I will try my best to do this job well and serve everyone… serve and do something practical for the country.”

One of China’s primary goals is to wipe Uyghurs from the face of the Earth and “establish long-term peace in the country.” Thus, Yen’s statement and devotion work directly or indirectly toward this task. His complimentary statement about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) helped cover up and defend the genocide perpetrated against the Uyghurs.

While defending himself in an interview, he said that he was influenced by China’s “modernization…the freeways, the architecture…” Is he really proud that more than 380 concentration camps have been built in East Turkistan and more than 3 million people have suffered for 5 years?

He has enjoyed a “convenience of lifestyle” in China, whereas 500,000 Uyghur children are orphans, and hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs abroad cannot communicate with their relatives in their homelands. Does Yen enjoy the brutality of the Chinese regime in the modern age?

Yen was upset that the Western media focused only on negative news about China: “The BBC and CNN don’t talk about it at all. They don’t talk about the truth at all. But I’m there.”

If he’s there, isn’t he tired or annoyed by Xinhua and CCTV, who can never say a word against Xi Jinping and the government? Doesn’t he find it unfair that none of the sad stories in the Xinjiang police files are mentioned in the Chinese press? A person who does not have a conscience about coming to a political position, not by election but by appointment, and even less of a conscience about sitting in a puppet’s chair of the CCP cannot see these facts.

Yen is not ignorant of these situations; he knows, and he may even be against the CCP in his heart, but if he utters a word against it, his films will be banned in China, and his market will die.

Donnie Yen. Credits

The “own experience” he refers to is his income from his films in the Chinese market. It is nothing but money when he refers to “what I see.”

Of course, like most cowards and criminals, Yen does not expose himself for what he is; he has a cover. He’s selling 100% of himself to the CCP to hide his selfishness. If he is, as he said, “100% Chinese,” he should not support the CCP, which has destroyed the Chinese people’s right to think, speak, and vote for seventy years. He should not refer to Hong Kong protesters demanding human rights, as he did, as “rioters.”

It is not surprising that a person who disregards the will of the people of Hong Kong—who raised him to follow his passion and gave him the opportunity to develop—also betrayed the Uyghurs. The Uyghurs have no hope for or expectations from Yen; naturally, we only despise him. We see any group or person who willingly supports the CCP in any way, such as Donnie Yen, as complicit in the genocide perpetrated against our people.

If a community has a villain on the loose, it’s because there are few or no community leaders or members who can tell them to “put the knife down.” Today, the CCP, a terrorist organization, controls a market of 1.5 billion people, and with this advantage, it is committing genocide in the country and expanding abroad. It can do so because there are politicians, artists, and celebrities who can’t take their eyes off the larger market, and they value money above everything else.

On the other hand, the Oscar invitation to Donnie Yen to be a presenter, and the fact that the petition against him was ignored, is a stark manifestation of the sad reality of our own world. Donnie Yen’s appearance means that a member of the CCP, a representative of a murderous organization, is welcome to walk the red (or, in the case of this year, champagne) carpet at the world’s most prestigious film awards. This image undermines the values of the free world, especially the United States, and encourages murderers and their accomplices. Therefore, we believe the Oscars Committee owes a apologize to Uyghur people and Hongkongers for having invited Donnie Yen.


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