Sharon Stone – who I dislike intensely as an actress, an interviewee, and a model – has this week wedged her irritating foot firmly in her irritating mouth.
For those of you not “in the know” she told reporters at the Cannes film festival
“I have been very concerned about how we should deal with the Olympics because they are not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a good friend of mine.” So far so kindergarten…
“And the earthquake and all this stuff happened and then I thought, is this karma?”
Woah there, Betty. Now, I know a lot of people (myself included) are concerned about the Olympics vs China’s human rights record and treatment of Tibet. This is more than apparent if one looks at the heavily guarded and oft hindered progress of the Olympic torch, but “not being nice”? What a ridiculous turn of phrase and certainly not one I would use if I (a) felt passionately about something and (b) wanted to be considered with any sort of credibility by adults.
I would also point out that the Dalai Lama himself specifically spoke against any sort of Olympic boycott back in March, stating that the people of China needed to feel proud of the event and that this did not obscure the need for an international investigation into what happened in Tibet. The Dalai Lama got some fierce PR skillz. Sharon Stone has the diplomatic nous of a walnut.
Moving onward “And the earthquake and all this stuff happened” -way to sound like you know what you’re talking about – “and then I thought, is this karma?” Do you think she realised how deeply unhelpful and hurtful this was or do you think she left the red carpet congratulating herself on a well constructed and incisive political soundbite?
Anyway, clearly her good mate the Lama needs to have a chat with her about the basics of karma. Karma offers a guide for self awareness and self-realisation by encouraging individuals to consider their responsibilities and the consequences of their actions (thank you compulsory high school religious studies). It does NOT mean that unjust rule will result in a cosmic smackdown on thousands of those who are subject to that rule. Sharon Stone’s understanding of karma is spiteful and superficial with the implication that everyone affected by the earthquake somehow deserved what they got because they live in a socialist republic under a repressive government.
I know that she has since apologised but I feel that this statement betrays such a lack of awareness, sensitivity, and empathy that it casts a pall of insincerity and incomprehension over all the previous and future charitable work she is currently bleating about. It’s like Heather McCartney but without the hilarity.
Most recent statistics:
160,000 – 200,000 evacuated