Veteran entertainer Deanie Ip had her music yanked from mainland streaming services in the mainland after she took part in a Monday’s anti-extradition bill march coinciding with the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.
According to Stand News, netizens on mainland social media site Weibo noticed this week that Ip’s music could no longer be found on popular music streaming platforms in China like Apple Music, NetEase Cloud Music, and QQ Music.
Ip — affectionately referred to as “Deanie jeh,” or “big sister Deanie” — gained fame as a Cantopop star and actress, but is also known for being a fierce advocate for the pro-democracy camp (and an equally fierce advocate for public transport etiquette, as evidenced by this ad she shot for Hong Kong’s Transport Department).
Ip campaigned for pro-dem wunderkind Nathan Law when he was running in the 2016 Legislative Council elections — which he won, only to be barred from office for improper oath-taking — and she was also one of the singers to lend her voice to Hold Up Your Umbrella, one of the anthems of the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests.
Given her well-known political leanings, it came as no surprise that Ip braved the heat on July 1 to take part in the annual pro-democracy rally, which focused this year on opposing Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill.
Ip told Apple Daily that she had attended the two previous record-breaking extradition bill marches on June 9 and June 16, adding that she was happy to see so many young people marching, saying it proved that “Hong Kong can be saved.”
“Temporary suspension [of the bill] is not right. It shouldn’t be temporary suspension,” Ip said. “It’s supposed to be ‘apparently’ [stopped], but we don’t want anything ‘apparent’ — we want something substantial.”
Other Hong Kong celebrities have also found themselves caught up in the extradition bill storm, albeit for different reasons.
Hong Kong singer and actor Alan Tam drew the ire of some Hongkongers after he gave a speech on stage at a pro-police rally on Sunday. The rally was meant to show support for the force, which has come under intense fire in recent weeks after using what many observers have deemed excessive force against anti-extradition protesters.
Fans of the star (well, former fans now) responded by destroying his records and posters. One jilted fan was barrister and head of the Progressive Lawyers’ Group Chris Ng, who said on Twitter that Tam had “crossed the line,” accusing him of supporting “police brutality against peaceful protesters.”
Also spotted at the same rally was actor Tony Leung Ka-fai (don’t worry, he’s not the In The Mood For Love Tony Leung, aka “The Good Tony Leung”).
The lesser Leung (whose highest-profile international role was the critically panned 1992 erotic romance The Lovers) didn’t go on stage to speak, but his attendance appears to have caught the attention of some people in high places. Just days later, it emerged that his latest film, Midnight Diner, had been cleared by Chinese authorities for screening in the mainland.
According to HK01, the film — based on a Japanese comedy series about a small-time restaurateur who listens to his guests’ stories — was slated to come out in 2018, but for unknown reasons was never released in mainland cinemas.
New posters for the film show it will be opening in theaters on August 30.
(Article originally appeared in Coconuts Hong Kong on 5 July 2019)