Variety is reporting that a Hong Kong news outlet says that Fan Bingbing, the highest-paid actress in China, has been banned from acting for three years while she’s being investigated for some good-old-fashioned tax evasion. Fan is joining the ranks of superstar celebrities like, The Situation, DMX, Kunty Karl Lagerfeld and Cristiano Ronaldo who all thought that they got the government and then got got by the government.
Fan has been missing from social media for three weeks and was last seen in public back in early July. This drama all started for Bingbing back in May when a Chinese reporter published documents appearing to show her fingers stuck in a few cookie jars. The documents seemed to show she was getting paid through two separate contracts for one film, implying that only one of the two payments would be declared to China’s tax man. She’s denied this but Chinese officials were like “Sure Jan,” and launched an investigation.
China is no joke when it comes to banning actors, having banned big stars and directors in the past. Actor-director Jiang Wen and director Zhang Yimou were both banned previously but it was because their films were deemed politically unacceptable by censors. It is rarely announced or confirmed that someone is banned, except when the legal system is involved; like what happened to Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee, who got in trouble for drugs.
Fan’s Workshop, Fan Bingbing’s talent management firm, declined to comment on the alleged acting ban and her international representation, CAA, also declined to comment. It’s not clear if this acting ban is effective in China alone or everywhere else too.
This is not great timing for Fan Bingbing–not that there is ever a good time to get audited by the tax man. Her name was taken off publicity for the Chinese war film “Unbreakable Spirit” also starring Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody. The movie was supposed to come out this month in China but now it seems like it will be out in October. She was also supposed to be in “355” that all-female spy movie Jessica Chastain produced, which was the hottest-selling film at Cannes; earning an estimated $20 million for the China rights. She also already completed work on “The King’s Daughter” so there were a lot of plates she had spinning before she got slapped with this cease and desist shit.
The Chinese government doesn’t play, but if she can’t work for three years, how is she going to pay them? Or are they just going to clear her accounts out. If that’s the case, expect a hot “new” actress named Ban Fingfing who looks exactly like Fan Binging to pop upon the scene. And I’m wondering if the ban also keeps Fan Bingbing from serving devastating looks on the red carpet like she normally does? I obviously care about what really matters.