Tang Wei has been banned from Chinese media (story here) as of March 7th when the government renewed prohibitions on "lewd and pornographic content". It's suspected that this is all connected to their anger over Lust, Caution for both its sexual and political content. Wei's star has been on the rise since the movie premiered. It was the highest grossing Chinese language film in China last year. Only Hong Kong, a more liberated city, had the uncut version. They've even pulled a lucrative skin care commercial she made, though hopefully Tang already pocketed the money, pulling a Madonna / Pepsi move circa 1988.
Further insulting a terrific film (top ten list here) Awards bodies have been asked to not consider the film for prizes. Banning films is nothing new in China. The classic Oscar winning Raise the Red Lantern (starring Gong Li) was famously banned in the 90s and you'll notice that this week's sponsor Summer Palace (now on DVD) also got the treatment and that's just two of many examples. Governments who have a history of rigidly controlling their populace aren't generally kind to the creative set, who tend to be free thinkers.
The ban story only mentions Tang Wei and not Tony Leung Chiu Wai, arguably Asia's most important actor and a very popular star, too. Banning him probably wouldn't go over well. Plus: this way they can be politically and sexually stifling while also being sexist at the same time. Um, congratulations?
I'm in no mood to joke about this so I say this without joy and with tongue firmly in cheek --since it's so inconsequential--but wasn't the lack of international awardage for her amazing film debut (which trumps most of this past year's Oscar nominees in any acting category) enough of a burden for her to bear?