Donnie Yen and his family allegedly experienced racial discrimination for being Chinese by event organizers while attending a charity gala right in his home of Hong Kong.
The event, which took place on Monday at Rosewood Hong Kong, was organized by The Foundation for AIDS Research, better known as amfAR, an international nonprofit headquartered in New York City.
The “Ip Man” star attended the gala with his wife Cissy Wang and daughter Jasmine Yen. Other attendees included “Crazy Rich Asians” stars Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh, Pharrell Williams, Heidi Klum, and Nicole Scherzinger, to name a few.
Following the event, Wang took to social media to complain about the organizer’s mistreatment of his family.
“One of my favorite films this year is the ‘Green Book.’ So much to learn from human kindness, respect, arrogance, racial discrimination and dignity. Never would I imagine to experience certain aspects of this film, in this day and age, especially in our own hometown,” Wang wrote in an Instagram post accompanied by the hashtag #中國人不是東亞病夫 (The Chinese are not the sick men of Asia).
“Tonight we experienced discrimination by an organization from overseas. Prioritized and supported a charity but in return was shocked by the treatment.”
Speaking to local news outlet Ming Pao, Wang claimed that discrimination already took place before the event even started.
“When my family was about to enter the venue, we were stopped by the staff who questioned us, ‘the gala dinner has not yet started, why are you already inside?’” she said, according to Asia One. “The situation was a mess and there weren’t ushers around. When we were finally introduced to the event organizer, his attitude upset me — I felt insulted and disrespected.”
To make matters worse, the organizer allegedly treated Chinese celebrities differently from Hollywood and Korean stars.
“I think they simply look down on us Chinese,” Wang added.
In the end, Yen and his family decided to leave the venue even before the gala started. Chinese star Ray Lui, a friend of Yen who was also invited, decided to leave with the family, HK01.com reported.
According to Lui, the dispute started when Yen was given a “bad spot” to sit. The kung fu star then raised his concerns to staff, who allegedly responded rudely.
Organizers reportedly called Yen after he had left the event to apologize, informing that his seating arrangement had been fixed. However, the actor decided not to return.
“This isn’t his first time,”
Lui said, according to JayneStars.com
. “He’s definitely experienced discrimination when doing Hollywood movies. All Chinese actors who have worked overseas could relate to this. This is why I believe our country needs to stay strong so we’ll be respected.”
As of this writing, amfAR has not released a statement regarding the incident.