When it comes to celebrities, it seems like some of them can’t go a day without making headlines. Because of this, it’s always slightly unsettling when one of them seemingly disappears. Today we are going to be talking about actress Fan Bingbing, who went from China’s highest-paid actress to virtually invisible. Before we delve into this mystery be sure to share this articles with your friends in your favorite social media.
Let’s get started.
Fan Bingbing is one of the most well-known and highest paid actresses in Asian cinema, She got her start in the television series “my fair princess” and went on to become a movie star, some of her hit films include “I Am Not Madame Bovary”, “Buddha mountain” and “lost In Beijing”. In addition to being known for her appearances in Chinese movies she’s been in many foreign language films as well, these include the French movie “stretch” and the Hollywood movie “X-Men Days of Future past”.
In the hit x-men movie she played the role of blink a mutant who creates portals she uses in order to teleport, at the time Fan reported that she had signed a contract with 20th Century Fox and we could expect to see her in four more movies in the franchise.
she also played in the Chinese version of Iron Man 3, not only was she appearing in major blockbusters but the actress was also regularly rated as one of the highest-paid celebrities in the entire world. When she wasn’t receiving acting accolades she was making glamorous appearances on the red carpet at everything from movie premieres to fashion shows.
— Fan Bingbing (@realBingbingFan) November 26, 2016
She was one of the most prominent Chinese celebrities in the world and then on July 1st 2018 it was as if she simply vanished into thin air, making it even stranger was that she had a major movie project she was supposed to be working on at the time. Fan Bingbing signed on to appear in the upcoming independent spy film “355” alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz and Jessica Chastain. The film was believed to be a future hit making her high-profile disappearance even more stranger, because of the current situation many fans are wondering if Fan will end up being recast.
Actress Jessica Chastain is championing the project and she and Fan were personal friends with one another, but unless we find out what is going on with Fan soon this partnership may be in jeopardy along with this film project. Not only did Fan Bingbing disappear but she did so under extremely suspicious circumstances.
A state-run television station had just run a program suggesting that fan was guilty of tax evasion, now tax evasion is a big deal in any country. We’ve seen many celebrities struggle with paying back their taxes here in the United States, but in China it’s an even greater issue and the government demands that offenders be completely blacklisted. This means that instead of a big fine and a slap on the wrist Fan’s career would be absolutely destroyed if she was found guilty.
According to leaked documents Fan claimed to have been paid 1.56 million dollars for four days of work on an upcoming Chinese film, that’s a hefty paycheck but not one befitting an actress of her stature. Reports claim that the actress was actually paid in excess of 7.8 million dollars for her time on set. Needless to say this is a massive discrepancy, the kind which could easily end her career, not only is falsifying contracts and evading taxes considered a grave sin in China but the government is trying to crack down on the amount of money actors make.
they believe overpaying celebrities adds to a culture of money worship and this isn’t something they want to promote, we could easily see them coming down especially hard on someone as well-known and as popular as Fan Bingbing to teach other citizens a lesson. So even if Fan Bingbing wasn’t guilty of tax evasion, she was someone the Chinese government definitely had in her crosshairs and unfortunately they have a few other reasons to use as justification for this. Groups affiliated with the state regularly review celebrities and rank them based on their body of work, their philanthropic efforts and their personal integrity. Out of all, the celebrities Fan came and absolutely last and scored a zero out of a possible 100.
In the United States celebrities are free to espouse their personal beliefs about their governments, in fact it’s pretty normal for them to endorse or decry political candidates both leading up to and after elections. But in China things are a bit different, celebrities who don’t use their time in the spotlight to highlight the achievements of the government are generally looked down upon and subjected to bad press.
While we know these things for sure speculation on Fans case is going rampant, in addition to disappearing from the public view she also hasn’t updated her normally very active social media. Briefly after her disappearance a well-known website posted a statement saying Fan was under control and would accept the legal decision, but before long the post was taken down leaving many more questions behind.
There have also been reports from the Hong Kong tabloid “The Daily Apple” that Fan was spotted in the United States, the paper claimed fan had visited the Los Angeles immigration office and was seeking asylum for her crimes at the recommendation of actor Jackie Chan.
If you think that sounds absolutely ridiculous, well you aren’t alone. Although the two knew one another and work together in the 2016 movie Skiptrace, Jackie Chan called the accusation that he was harboring Fan Bingbing nonsense. Even considering the rest of this strange story we are going to agree with him there.
In truth the situation is getting pretty scary, it seems as if people are trying to pretend that Fan Bingbing never existed in the first place. Her fiancé Li Chen as he raced all mention of his partner on this profile on Weibo, which is a popular Chinese blogging website. Additionally he appeared in a promotional video for the show keep running but didn’t seem to be wearing his ring, he had worn it as a symbol of their relationship ever since he proposed to Fan at her last birthday. This has caused many to wonder if he is also in some sort of trouble or if he is doing everything possible to stop himself from going down along with Fan.
As of right now, it seems as if there are two major theories about what happened to actress Fan Bingbing:
- The first is that she was found guilty of tax evasion and she is in the custody of the Chinese government.
- The second is that fan made the mistake of getting too big and the government decided to take her down a peg through whatever means necessary.
of course it might be neither things or it could be a combination of both, there are so many strange moving pieces in this puzzle and conflicting reports are constantly pouring in.
In another odd occurrence involves Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, who had ties to the actress. He had made an appearance in the movie “ash is purest white” but soon found himself edited out, not only did they remove Feng Xiaogang from the movie but they redid the promotional posters and credits to remove any mention of him whatsoever. The film’s director Jia Zhangke refused to answer questions regarding Feng at a screening of the movie, the best he would offer was that the situation was complicated; the film was supposed to premiere on September 14th in zhongshan China but has been cancelled temporarily.
Was this all a completely unrelated incident? Or does this have something to do with Fan’s disappearance?
there are some who think Fan Bingbing may have been getting too big and this was something the Chinese government wanted to rein in, not only was she massively successful in China but she is even famous compared to other celebrities. If you’re looking for a comparison to a Western celebrity, think of her like Beyoncé and imagine she just disappeared without a trace. But her confidence offended the sensibilities of many people in China and she was frequently referred to as Fan Ye which is a term usually only used for men of some seniority.
When asked if she intended to marry rich, she once quipped she had never thought about it because she was wealthy all on her own. Many people believe her hubris may have ultimately been her undoing, if she was simply in trouble for her misleading contract why wouldn’t the government make some sort of announcement. After all when a celebrity is arrested, typically it splashed all over the newspapers and entered into public record; it isn’t as if they simply vanished into thin air.
Experts have been concerned about the Chinese government’s increasing control over their media and entertainment, most of us know their rules are stricter than ours and many shows and movies we enjoy can’t be seen in China. For example even the cheerful children’s cartoon Winnie the Pooh is forbidden, people on social media couldn’t resist jokingly comparing Winnie the Pooh to their President Xi Jinping. So the rotund bear had to go.
This may be a humorous example but there are many other restrictions which people find worrying, authorities have been banning apps television shows and live streams and shows which don’t mess with the values they want to promote. In addition they’re taking aim at the people who promote and star in this type of content, they’ve threatened to cap salaries for actors and require actors to promote government ideals.
This could not only be a huge deal for Chinese actors but for cinema as a whole, currently the Chinese film industry is the second largest in the world second only to Hollywood. As you can imagine these changes likely won’t bode well for its future, these changes sound dangerous free like propaganda and that can only hurt the industry but Fan Bingbing have been the first casualty in China’s war against its own film industry.
Still her fans are holding out hope that more information will be shared regarding her disappearance, such a huge star isn’t going to fade quietly away and the people of China are demanding answers from their government. Regarding the contract issue, the issue reportedly took place in May of 2018. Talk show host Qu Jung Yun accused her of using what’s known as a yin-yang contract, this means an actor signed not one but two different contracts for the same job; one contract shows a lower fee for the project and the other shows the fee which was actually paid. These are done to avoid paying taxes and obviously they’re also very illegal.
But wait there’s another strange twist to this story, one of fan being bangs most famous roles is in a movie called “cellphone”. The movie is about a television host whose marriage is destroyed when his affair with a young journalist is exposed, it’s a sordid story which involves the humiliation of stead television host. Now the interesting part is that many people believe the movie was based on none other than Qu Jung Yun, the man who levied accusations against Fan Bingbing.
— Fan Bingbing (@realBingbingFan) November 20, 2016
When questioned about the movie he reacted angrily toward this director Feng Xiaogang, yes the same Feng Xiaogang who was friends with Fan Bingbing and who was recently edited completely out of the movies he appeared in. Remember when you thought Fan with Jackie Chan seem strange compared to everything else going on, it seems relatively normal at this point.
In addition to her disappearance, all of fans projects both current and completed have been put on hold. L.O.R.D Lord of ravaging dynasties too was supposed to be released shortly after she vanished, but was postponed citing production issues this happened on July 6th the same day the Chinese government issued a statement about celebrity salaries and social values.
Then we have the movie the “perfect blue” which was finished in May, but now Fan’s part is rumored to be recast. A movie directed by Chao Feng air strike was also pushed back from August to October and Fan’s name has been eliminated from the promotional material.
Clearly there are many things going on here and sadly we are no closer to having definitive answers.
Tell us what you think is going on with this crazy situation in the comments section and then click on the share buttons. We’ll see you next time.