Earlier this month we learned that Chinese actress Fan Bingbing will still be appearing in the spy ensemble 355, a role that was in doubt after she basically disappeared amid fallout from a tax-evasion scandal last year. And now, for the first time in months, she has appeared at a public event. (So maybe that means she’s fully out of government custody? Maybe not?) Fan attended a Beijing gala to honor the video-streaming platform iQiyi and posted to her Instagram account for the first time in months — and the last photo was just a casual selfie. This is the first image of the actress at an event since May of last year when she attended Cannes. It’s reportedly the first time she’s been seen out and about since visiting a children’s hospital last July, and that is a long time for one of the most famous faces in all of China to go totally dark.
Since being accused by the Chinese government of tax crimes, Fan has taken full responsibility and pledged the pay back the amount she owes, which is reportedly in excess of $100 million, “regardless of any obstacles.” She has also profusely apologized to her country, to her fans, and to society, and praised “the Party and the state’s good policies,” because without them, the actress said, “there would have been no Fan Bingbing.” Based on some translations of comments left on the popular Chinese social site Weibo, though, some Chinese citizens are pretty peeved she’d have the temerity to ever show her face again. The outlet SupChina reports responses have been “overwhelmingly negative” to Fan’s reemergence, and some of the comments pulled for translation include, “She’s gone too far. How dare she come back?” and “Why didn’t she receive a lifetime ban?” and “These scandalous celebrities should be forever discarded by the audience!”
If someone could relay a message to Fan via Weibo or carrier pigeon or a discreet passed note, let her know that here in the States we love a scammer.