Jackie Chan is China’s version of Chuck Norris.
I’m sorry to say that I’ll be ruining Jackie for you. Although, that is not my intention at all.
He has left a cinematic legacy behind him and that should be appreciated, but I also felt uncomfortable seeing all of the unqualified praises for how amazing he is.
I would also like to present some different perspectives on Jackie Chan:
In general, Jackie has a far more complicated reputation here at home than he does overseas. There is no doubt that he popularized his school of physical comedy/acting, and honestly no-one else has even come close to being able to replicate it, but at the same time his personal actions and views also has earned him a fair share of disdain.
His biggest criticisms come from his political leanings. The records are out there, so feel free to google it if you are interested in further reading. He consistently acts as one of the more prolific mouthpieces for the Chinese Communist Party (NOT China, see below). His statements are always incredibly inflammatory (“People’s freedom should be restricted” etc.), poorly-supported, very heavily propagandized and not to mention reductionist and biased. There is no logical or reason at play in most of his political rants. His entire strategy towards commenting on any political issue is basically “I’m famous, so fuck you. Hail the Party.”
As a result of these things his image has really gradually transformed into something of a punchline in local communities. The many memes that you might see of him when visiting Chinese websites are mostly done in derision.
Some of the posters in this thread have already pointed out that it’s hard for someone to turn against your countrymen and all that, but I would like to note that his support isn’t for China and its people, but for the oppressive single-party government regime that actively suppresses humanitarian efforts or democratic processes that attempt to return political power to the people by creating arbitrary laws to imprison human rights lawyers, or hold people indefinitely with trial (there is literally a law against “causing trouble and picking quarrels”, which is so vague and poorly-defined that it allows the arrest of basically anyone for anything and yes, it pretty much is exclusively used to target political activists).
He is also fiercely anti-American, which can come off as hypocritical considering that he made a considerable part of his fortune in America.
I would like to stress that I’m not trying to discredit his cinematic achievements. That is a part of his life that is completely unrelated to who is he outside of the screen, and in it he is definitely an unparalleled legend who deserves the respect for being such.
But at the same time, he is also a global, public figure who personally comes across as being very callous about the consequences of his actions and words. And that, I think, is worrying. He basically acts like he can do and say whatever he wants, for the pleasure of his own benefits, regardless of who and how many it hurts. It’s how a lot of people behave, but as a public figure his ethics should be placed under more scrutiny.
Even if you disagree with me I don’t mind. All that I ask is that you do your own research and make up your own mind instead of relying on knee-jerk reflexes.