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Actress Stone and Dior Differ Over Apology

(2008-06-05 08:59:05)
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杂谈

 Actress Stone and Dior Differ Over Apology

  THERE is no denying that the high-heeled foot in Sharon Stone’s mouth at the Cannes Film Festival belongs to the actress herself. She admitted that her comments suggesting that karmic(命运的) retribution(报应/惩罚) may have caused the devastating earthquakes in China were blithering(胡扯/瞎说to talk foolishly).

  “Clearly, I sound like an idiot,” said Ms. Stone on Thursday evening from her home in Los Angeles, after she had watched a widely viewed Internet video of her remarks from Cannes.

  In the red-carpet interview on May 22, Ms. Stone, who was about to enter a fund-raising gala(特别娱乐活动) for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, of which she was a host, told a journalist: “I’m not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else. And the earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma(命运)? When you’re not nice that bad things happen to you?”

  The comments created a stir(轰动) in the Chinese news media and on blogs, and Dior, which has a modeling contract with Ms. Stone for a face cream, removed her from advertising in China, fearing a backlash(后冲/对抗的反应). Dior’s Shanghai office issued a statement in which Ms. Stone was quoted apologizing: “I am deeply sorry and sad about hurting Chinese people.”

  In the 45-minute telephone interview Thursday night, Ms. Stone was at first strident and then contrite(深感懊悔的) about her remarks. She insisted her comments in Cannes had been taken out of context. She also said that she resisted Dior’s efforts at damage control, and that the apology issued in her name distorted(歪曲/曲解) her words.

  Early last week, Ms. Stone said, she received a call from Sidney Toledano, the chief executive of Dior, which hired the actress for beauty advertisements in 2005. “I talked to Sidney and I said: ‘Let’s get serious here. You guys know me very well. I’m not going to apologize. I’m certainly not going to apologize for something that isn’t real and true — not for face creams.’ ”

  Ms. Stone said the interview in Cannes with her remarks about Tibet and karma came at the end of a media line of 80 to 100 television crews. She believes, but is not certain, the interviewer was from a Hong Kong television station. The call letters on the microphone are blurred out on Internet sites showing the video.

  If Ms. Stone’s expression in the video seemed unduly(不适当地/过度地) happy as she referred to the earthquakes in Sichuan Province, which have taken the lives of more than 68,000 people, it may be because, as she said on Thursday, she had recently been in communication with the Bridge Fund, which does work on behalf of Tibetans, and was touched by the group’s relief efforts in the devastated area.

  On May 20, Ms. Stone said, she received an e-mail message from her friend Monica Garry, executive director of the Bridge Fund, requesting a quote from the actress for the organization’s Web site that might encourage people to give money to the relief.

  “This was the story I was telling the reporter” at Cannes, Ms. Stone said, adding that some of her explanatory comments were edited out.

  At the end of the film festival, on May 24, Ms. Stone flew to Stockholm, where she was scheduled to address a global health forum attended by scientists and public health experts. Meanwhile, Chinese blogs were starting to condemn Ms. Stone for being insensitive.

  “Now it’s turned into a three-ring circus,” said Ms. Stone, who is 50 and is set to begin production in Louisiana on a film with Val Kilmer called “Streets of Blood.”

  Like many European luxury brands, Dior, which reported double-digit growth in China for the first three months of the year, looks to emerging consumer markets as a major source of revenue, and it is eager to avoid causing offense. In April, a pro-Tibetan demonstration during the Olympic torch relay in Paris brought calls in China to boycott the French retailer Carrefour.

  Ms. Stone said that she told Mr. Toledano of Dior that since she didn’t believe she had done anything wrong, why didn’t Dior let her clarify her remarks with a statement? That statement, which Cindi Berger, a publicist for Ms. Stone, sent to The New York Times in an e-mail message, said, in part: “I am deeply saddened that a 10-second poorly edited film clip has besmirched(糟蹋/弄污) my reputation of over 20 years of charitable services on behalf of international charities. My intention is to be of service to the Chinese people.” She expressed sympathy for the earthquake victims and said she regretted if her comments in Cannes were misunderstood.

  Yet the apology released in Ms. Stone’s name by Dior’s office in Shanghai bears little resemblance(相似) to the original, and the difference seemed to irritate(激怒) the star. To many bloggers, the apology made Ms. Stone seem at once groveling and insincere — another actress doing what she has to save a movie career.

  “It makes it appear that I’m in agreement that I did a bad thing,” Ms. Stone said, adding that she believes the statement was not a poor translation but rather rewritten. It is unclear who at Dior provided the statement to the Chinese news media.

  For actresses like Ms. Stone, whose image sells products, there is little room for fumbling(失误). She said that she and Mr. Toledano have not discussed her contract with the company.

  A Dior spokesman said Friday that Mr. Toledano was returning from a trip to China, along with his boss, Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, and could not be reached for comment.

  Although Ms. Stone said she is less concerned by the appeasing attitude of corporations toward China than what she calls the sensational(危言耸听的,蛊惑人心的) tactics(手段) of journalists, she nonetheless sounded chastened by the episode(插曲/插话/一段事件). Noting more than once that she helped raised $10 million at the amfAR gala, Ms. Stone said that in the future she will chose her words more carefully. “I am really sorry that it created such a thing,” she said. “I misspoke for four seconds and it’s become an international incident.”

  It was only after reviewing the video in her home toward the end of the interview that it seemed to dawn on Ms. Stone why her comments had caused such an uproar(骚动/轰动). “I had absolutely no intention of saying that, which I did say,” she said, “and now, looking at it on the tape, I look like a complete ding-dong(挑事/惹起事端/的人).”

  By CATHY HORYN

  Published: June 1, 2008

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