Fans and journalists alike believe that there is something very odd going on with Chinese superstar actress Fan Bingbing. Fan has not made any sort of public appearance since July 1st, 2018, and her social media accounts have gone dark and silent.
Since 2013, the performer has ranked amongst China’s highest paid celebrities. In 2016, she starred in the critically acclaimed I Am Not Madame Bovary, where she plays a scheming village woman who attempts to exact both legal and physical revenge against her ex-husband for not following through on a divorce property plot. Fan is probably best known to western audiences for her supporting role in X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
Earlier this year, in the Spring, Fan became the subject of an alleged tax evasion scandal when a TV host published what looked to be two separate contracts paying her for the same project despite only one probably being reported to the government. The host later walked back his accusations and said the documents were supposed to implicate a larger group rather than Fan. Despite Fan’s denial of the charges against her, the Chinese government declared that they would issue a full investigation into both the documents and her assets.
Now, the media is speculating that Fan’s absence and reticence indicate some form of legal punishment from authorities in the form of an acting ban. China is known to ban artists, usually for creating content that is deemed unsuitable for the masses. Even Fan’s agency, Fan’s Workshop, isn’t saying anything.
Furthering suspicion is one of Fan’s upcoming projects: Unbreakable Spirit being shelved until October instead of being released this summer. Chronicling Japanese bombings of China during World War II, the historical drama also stars Lie Ye, Bruce Willis, and Song Seung-heon with Fan appearing in a supporting role alongside actors such as Adrien Brody, Nicholas Tse, and Rumer Willis.
Fan is also scheduled to appear in 355, a female-driven spy thriller starring other legendary actresses like Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Marion Cotillard, and Penelope Cruz. If she is indeed banned from performing, it is unclear how it might affect her projects overseas.
Unfortunately, the rumors are likely to only increase whilst Fan remains out of the spotlight.