Why Do People Hate Jackie Chan?

Jackie Chan is a famous martial artist, actor, stuntman and filmmaker who rose to fame in the 1970s and 80s starring in action-comedy movies like Drunken Master, Police Story and the Rush Hour series.

While he has a huge global fanbase, Jackie Chan has also faced criticism and backlash over the years for various controversial actions and statements. Here is an in-depth look at some of the main reasons why Jackie Chan is disliked by certain groups and individuals:

His Perceived Arrogance and Big Ego

One of the top reasons often cited for disliking Jackie Chan is his perceived arrogance and inflated ego. Throughout his career, Jackie Chan has made various statements that rub people the wrong way such as calling himself a “very humble guy” and claiming to be “more famous than Chaplin”.

He has even compared himself favorably to legendary Bruce Lee, considered by many to be the greatest martial artist of all time. Chan has been accused of having a big head and thinking very highly of himself.

His overconfidence and bragging has turned off fans who feel he should be more modest about his abilities and success. Even his mentors and elders in the Hong Kong film industry have criticized Chan for having an ego and not showing enough humility despite his fame.

His Political Views and Statements on Hong Kong

Jackie Chan has faced backlash over his conservative political views and controversial comments about Hong Kong. He has been very vocal in his support for the Communist Party in China.

In 2009, he stated in an interview that “Chinese need to be controlled” and that “there’s no freedom in Hong Kong”. These remarks angered pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong who saw it as Chan towing Beijing’s line and supporting authoritarianism over freedoms.

His perceived anti-Hong Kong stance led to public outrage, protests and boycotts of his films like Chinese Zodiac. In 2019, Chan also criticized the Hong Kong protests saying “I have visited many countries, and I can say, our country has been rapidly developing in recent years.

I feel pride in being Chinese wherever I go, and the Five-starred Red Flag is respected everywhere around the world.”

Allegations of Infidelity and Objectification of Women

There have been accusations of Jackie Chan being unfaithful in relationships and objectifying women. In 2015, Elaine Ng Yi Lei, a former beauty queen, claimed that she had an extramarital affair with Chan in 1999 that produced a daughter that he has refused to acknowledge.

This news caused a scandal, damaging Chan’s reputation as a family man. Throughout his career, he has also made controversial remarks about women like defending the ancient Chinese practice of foot binding.

Jackie Chan has been accused of holding sexist views about gender roles and perpetuating the objectification of women in movies, especially earlier in his career. His perceived womanizing and chauvinistic tendencies have drawn criticism from feminists and women’s rights advocates.

His Strained Relationships with Some Family Members

Chan has faced criticism for having strained relationships with some family members over the years. He admitted in his autobiography that he was not a present father to his son Jaycee Chan when he was building his career.

In 2014, Jaycee was arrested on drug charges leading to a public rift between father and son. Jackie Chan also received backlash for referring to Jaycee as an “unwanted child” born from an affair in his youth.

His comments were seen as highly insensitive, leading to accusations of Chan being an absentee, unloving father. Additionally, in 2016, Jackie Chan disinherited his daughter Etta Ng Chok Lam, leading to speculation about family discord.

Perception of Being Too Commercialized and “Selling Out”

As Jackie Chan gained global fame, some of his older fans began seeing him as becoming too commercialized and “selling out”. After achieving success in Hollywood, he was criticized for taking on generic blockbuster roles that were perceived as just chasing big box office returns.

Many lamented that the edgy, innovative spirit of his earlier HK films was gone. Jackie Chan was also accused of excessive product endorsements, brand ambassador roles and licensing his name/image too much for quick commercial gain.

Loyal supporters felt he had drifted from his martial arts roots and creative filmmaking to simply capitalizing on his celebrity in a crass, mercenary way.

His Brash, Risk-Taking Public Persona

While Jackie Chan’s daredevil stunt work has always garnered admiration, his brash public persona has also led to some people finding him cocky, hammy or annoying.

Chan is known for wisecracking, mugging for cameras and boasting about his abilities in interviews. To some, this comes across as clownish bragging rather than charming confidence.

He has been accused of shameless scene-stealing in films to grab attention away from co-stars. Jackie Chan’s publicity stunts like jumping off buildings have backfired at times too, coming across as egotistical risk-taking to provoke a reaction rather than true adventurism. His critics feel Chan should tone down his public bravado and let his talent speak for itself.

His Views and Comments on American Politics/Culture

Though Jackie Chan has enjoyed mainstream success in Hollywood, he has periodically irked American audiences by making controversial observations about US politics and culture.

In 1984, Chan ran afoul of American censors for making critical remarks about the level of violence in US movies compared to Chinese films. Later in 2012, he again drew criticism from conservative Americans for saying “I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not” during an interview with a Chinese newspaper.

Chan’s perceived anti-democracy and anti-American stances have led to periodic outrage and boycotts from offended Western fans. He has also upset some by downplaying Chinese human rights violations when commenting on politics.

Accusations of Cruelty to Animals in His Films

As an action star frequently performing dangerous physical stunts, Jackie Chan has faced allegations from animal rights activists of cruelty to animals during the filming of some sequences.

Scenes of apparent animal abuse like the slaughtering of live snakes in Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow have led to outcries and calls for boycotting his movies.

Though Chan has denied harming animals for entertainment purposes, activists remain skeptical given the realism of scenes portraying animal cruelty in his early films. The accusations have damaged Chan’s popularity among animal lovers despite his denials of deliberate mistreatment.

His Tendency to Get Injured Doing Own Stunts

While Jackie Chan’s fearless commitment to doing his own stunts has earned him respect, it has also led some fans to see him as reckless or foolish. Throughout his career, Chan has ended up with many major injuries including broken cheekbones, a dislocated pelvis and skull fractures while filming dangerous scenes.

To some, Chan comes across as cavalier about real injury risks which sets a bad example for impressionable fans. While praised for his work ethic, Chan’s tendency to get hurt while eschewing stunt doubles has made him a polarizing figure among safety advocates who feel he glamorizes needless harm too much.

Why Do Some Still Admire or Defend Jackie Chan?

Despite the criticisms, Jackie Chan still has legions of loyal fans across the world who continue to admire him or defend him against detractors. Here are some of the main reasons why he remains beloved by many:

His Unique Martial Arts Style and Action Choreography

Jackie Chan is credited with revolutionizing martial arts choreography in films with his dynamic blend of kung fu, physical comedy and death-defying stunt work. His fast-paced, acrobatic fighting style mixed with improvised props and set pieces is considered pioneering and influential.

Even critics acknowledge Chan as an icon who made martial arts more lighthearted, awe-inspiring and accessible to global audiences in a way no one did prior.

His Dedication to Performing Dangerous Physical Feats

Chan’s willingness to risk life and limb to achieve the perfect shot earns him respect from fans. They feel he represents the pinnacle of work ethic and courage with both his meticulous planning and fearlessness to pull off the incredible stunts he directs.

To his admirers, Chan’s personal execution of jaw-dropping action sequences places him in a class of his own compared to performers relying more on wires, camera tricks and editing.

Belief That His Flaws Are Overblown or Taken out of Context

Some loyal Jackie Chan supporters think the criticisms of him are overblown. They contend detractors take his bravado-laced interviews out of context rather than appreciating his overall humility and work for charity.

Fans argue Chan’s conduct should be judged in entirety including his cinematic achievements and positive impacts rather than isolating slip-ups or questionable comments. From this perspective, Chan’s flaws are understandable given his background and don’t invalidate his talents.

Appreciation of His Charitable Causes and Philanthropy

While some may see Jackie Chan as a sellout, he has also engaged in significant philanthropy over the years especially in recent decades. He has focused on causes like disaster relief, environmental protection and poverty alleviation.

For instance, Chan donated over $1.7 million to relief efforts after Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami. To supporters, these civic-minded actions show Chan’s responsible side and make up for his occasional lapses in judgment.

Respect That He Achieved Global Stardom against the Odds

Jackie Chan’s rise from poverty in Hong Kong to worldwide fame resonates with fans. They see his success story as uplifting and feel it should be recognized despite wealth making him out-of-touch.

To them, Chan overcame long odds by training from childhood in martial arts and stunt work to achieve stardom on his own terms. His ceaseless hustle and willingness to sacrifice for his dream commands admiration as an underdog made good.

Appreciation for His Acting Range Beyond Action Films

While best known for action-comedies, supporters point to Jackie Chan’s acting range in films like the The Karate Kid remake and serious pieces like The Foreigner. They argue he has proven his versatility beyond martial arts and slapstick comedy.

Fans feel his dramatic skills are underappreciated and show Chan is multi-talented. His ability to still draw crowds after over 60 films underscores his lasting appeal.

Belief That His Age Deserves Some Leniency for Controversial Actions

Some fans argue Chan should be judged leniently for mistakes because extreme fame likely warped his perspective. They point out most controversial incidents happened later in Chan’s career as an aging, out-of-touch celebrity.

Supporters think the elder Chan should be forgiven for impolitic comments or scandals since achieving such status at a young age would affect anyone’s personality over time.

Respect for His Promotion of Chinese/Asian Culture Globally

Jackie Chan is acclaimed in Asia for building pride in Chinese culture through films that crossed over to Hollywood. Admirers believe he put Asian martial arts cinema on the map globally and opened doors for other Chinese stars.

His roles portraying Chinese history, values and legends have made Chan a unifying, cultural icon in the eyes of fans at home and abroad. They argue this contribution merits respect despite his faults.


Jackie Chan’s controversial reputation stems from his brash public persona, political stances, treatment of family, among other actions that have alienated some former fans over the years.

However, Chan remains a beloved figure among many loyal supporters who point to his cinematic innovations, philanthropic work and legendary status as a Chinese cultural icon who made Asian martial arts films popular worldwide.

While his critics feel Chan has shown arrogance, greed and other unbecoming behavior unfitting of a role model, his devotees argue that his flaws are overstated and should not detract from his trailblazing film career and positive contributions.

There are good faith arguments on both sides for why Jackie Chan inspires such polarized perceptions – from cultural icon to sellout. But few dispute Chan’s enormous box office success and his unique ability to combine death-defying physical feats with comedy.

In an era when many decry a lack of new action stars, Jackie Chan’s singular talents and appeal during his prime remain obvious. Yet his bumpy transition to aging legend status underscores the complexities of reputations built larger than life through cinema.

As with most celebrities who rise meteorically from humble beginnings, the contradictions of Jackie Chan the man versus the myth will likely inspire debate between critics and fans for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions about Jackie Chan’s Controversies

Why did Jackie Chan make controversial comments about Hong Kong?

In 2009, Jackie Chan stated in an interview that “Chinese need to be controlled” and that “there’s no freedom in Hong Kong”. He made similar comments in 2019 criticizing the Hong Kong protests and supporting Beijing’s authority. Many pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong saw his remarks as offensive and toadying up to China.

How has Jackie Chan treated his son Jaycee?

Chan has admitted to being an absent father to Jaycee during his childhood. In 2014, Chan referred to Jaycee publicly as an “unwanted child” after he was arrested on drug charges.

This led to accusations of Chan being an unloving father and having a strained relationship with his son due to workaholism.

What controversial remarks has Jackie Chan made about America?

In 1984, Chan criticized the level of violence in American films compared to Chinese movies, angering US censors.

In 2012, he again caused offense in the US by questioning whether too much freedom was good during an interview with a Chinese media outlet. His periodic perceived anti-American stances have led to outrage.

Why do some accuse Jackie Chan of animal cruelty?

Scenes in early Chan films like Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow showing apparent animal slaughter led to accusations of condoning cruelty for entertainment impact.

Though Chan denied harming animals on set, activists remain skeptical given how realistic some questionable scenes portraying animal abuse appeared.

How has Jackie Chan almost died doing stunts?

Some of Chan’s worst injuries over the years during stunts include falling from a 25ft tree and fracturing his skull, getting a piece of shrapnel embedded in his cheekbone, dislocating his pelvis after falling from a clock tower, and burning his hands badly during a rope slide scene coated in melting wax.

Why did Chan get criticized for his comments on American cinema?

In 1984, Chan criticized the level of violence in American films versus Chinese productions. His remarks angered US censors who cut 15 minutes from his film The Protector before release.

Later in 2012, Chan again offended some Americans by questioning whether too much freedom was good during a Chinese newspaper interview.

Has Jackie Chan really done all his own stunts in films?

Yes, Chan is renowned for insisting on performing all his own stunts and fight choreography in films, no matter how dangerous, rather than using stunt doubles.

His dedication to doing his own stunt work has led to many hospital visits over the years due to injuries sustained on set during filming.

How has Jackie Chan been involved in philanthropy?

Chan has engaged significantly in charity over the past few decades, especially disaster relief efforts.

Some major donations include over $1.7 million to Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and $1.8 million to help flood victims in mainland China. He also started the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation to aid various causes.

Why don’t some of Jackie Chan’s family members associate with him?

Chan has had strained relationships with certain family members. He admitted neglecting parenting duties when building his career.

In 2016 Chan disinherited daughter Etta Ng Chok Lam, leading to speculation of discord. He also referred to son Jaycee as an “unwanted child” after Jaycee’s 2014 drug arrest, causing a public rift.

What are some of Jackie Chan’s biggest box office hits?

Some of the top grossing Jackie Chan films include Rush Hour ($244 million worldwide gross), Rush Hour 2 ($347 million), Rush Hour 3 ($258 million), The Karate Kid (2010) ($359 million), Police Story 3: Supercop ($160 million), Drunken Master II ($147 million) and Shanghai Noon ($109 million).

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