Jackie Chan might still be popular in China, but these days the pro-Beijing actor is as well-known as fodder for jokes as he is for his martial arts and slapstick humor on screen, AP reports.
A made-up word he uttered in an old television commercial, duang – meaning something like “ta-da!” has become popular on social media after a new mash-up video of the ad made the rounds.
Chan used the sound in a 2004 infomercial to sell shampoo. In the ad, he declares that no duang — referring to special effects — were used to make his hair look blacker, shinier and softer, but that the shampoo itself did the trick.
Authorities later ruled that the commercial made false claims, and Chan’s reputation suffered.
Duang began appearing on social media days before the country’s rubber-stamp legislature began its annual session this week.
Some netizens use it to poke fun at the credibility of delegates and express dissatisfaction with the political system.
Chan, who was appointed to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body, in 2013, has been targeted not only because he is a showbiz celebrity but because he has gained a reputation for ingratiating himself with the Communist Party to advance the prospects of his movies in China’s massive market.
So far, he has been a good sport about the resurgence of duang.
“It’s quite funny,” he told reporters.
Not everything Chan himself has said has struck the public as funny, however.
In 2009, he opposed greater freedom for the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan, saying, “The Chinese need to be supervised, or they will do whatever they please.”
Last year, he spoke out against Hong Kong’s democracy protests.
“What Jackie Chan has said shows he does not have the sense of right or wrong but the sense of interest,” the report quoted Professor Hu Xingdou, an economist at the Beijing Institute of Technology who called for a boycott of Chan in 2009, as saying.
Jokes suggesting slyness and snobbery on Chan’s part have emerged on the internet in recent years.
When his son, actor Jaycee Chan Jo-ming, was arrested, and later convicted, on drug charges last year, the public sneered, making much of the irony that Chan senior has served as China’s anti-drug ambassador.
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