CULTURE

Worst Quotes of the Week: Featuring Steve King, Liu Yifei, and Donald Trump

The definitive ranking of the top three dumbest, silliest, and lamest things said by public figures over the past week.

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Welcome to Popdust's worst quotes of the week: our definitive ranking of the top three dumbest, s**ttiest, and just generally lame things said by public figures over the past seven days.

3. Donald Trump

donald trump golf

"That guy's got a serious weight problem. Go home. Start exercising."

In what might go down in history as the most ironic insult ever made, Donald Trump, a man sporting the exact body proportions of a kumquat and some very bizarre ideas about exercise, made fun of another man for being fat. Wanna know the best part? That other man was one of his supporters. Or maybe the best part is that it's on video:

Basically, Trump mistook one of his supporters for a protester and doled out one of his famous Trumpian insults honing in on the lowest-hanging fruit possible. All's well that ends well though, because being insulted by Donald Trump was apparently a dream come true for Frank Dawson, the out-of-shape man who Trump targeted.

"I think he thought I was part of it, but I wasn't. I was the good part of it," Dawson told Fox News during a barely literate interview. "Everything is good. I love the guy. He is the best thing that ever happened to this country."

It's amazing to watch Trump straight-up savage this man's physical appearance, only for the man to turn around and heap praise upon him. If you ever wondered if the Right's obsession with the term "cuck" was projection, look no further than Frank Dawson.

2. Liu Yifei

liu yifei Getty Images

"I support the Hong Kong police; you can beat me up now. What a shame for Hong Kong." Hashtag: "I Also Support The Hong Kong Police," alongside a heart and bicep flex emoji.

liu yifei weibo

At first glance, Liu Yifei (who stars as Mulan in the upcoming live-action Disney remake) just seems to be sharing some average, run-of-the-mill, pro-Chinese communist propaganda in favor of police brutality against protesters in Hong Kong. But upon closer inspection, this one's a deep, dark rabbit hole that potentially reveals an effort by the Chinese government to force celebrities into publicly promoting party policies.

Unfortunately for Disney, Mulan might be a hard sell in the West if people think that the actress attempting to subvert expectations of women onscreen is drawing from her real life experience of subverting expectations by supporting literal human-rights abuses. Then again, it's hard to fault her too much, considering the Chinese government's history of targeting the families of expats who don't comply with their political wishes.

Luckily, Mulan is sure to make back its losses with the full support of The People's Republic of China, who will probably suggest that everyone needs to buy a ticket opening night, lest they be forced to publicly "embarrass" themselves.

3. Steve King

steve king Pictured: An actual troglodyteJOSHUA LOTT/ GETTY IMAGES

"What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?"

If a necromancer brought the corpse of a serial rapist back to life, but its p-nis had already decomposed so it had to get off solely through talking about rape, that would be Republican Congressman Steve King. The man is a literal ghoul, and he's also very, very racist.

Steve King believes abortion is so bad that he excuses raping people. Steve King thinks human life is so precious that he condones people raping their siblings. Steve King adheres to Catholicism so strongly that he's willing to stand up in front of an entire club of fellow conservative folks and tell them how rape and incest have made the human race what it is today, and that if we got rid of it, he might not exist .

In short, Steve King is a wonderful representative of the 4th Congressional District of Iowa.

With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.

Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.

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Still #BoycottMulan? Liu Yifei Might Be a Victim of Forced Propaganda by the Chinese Government

China might be forcing stars like Mulan's Liu Yifei to spread anti-protester propaganda.

Mulan's official trailer dropped. Meanwhile, pro-democracy protesters persist in their fight for freedom in the face of violence from Hong Kong police.

Remember the controversy surrounding actress Liu Yifei (a.k.a. Crystal Liu), star of Disney's upcoming live-action Mulan, when she posted anti-protester sentiment on social media? While anger at the star's anti-democracy stance might seem natural, it's very possible that Liu is also a victim of the Chinese government.

liu yifei weibo

In August, Liu shared an image on Weibo (China's Twitter-like platform––Twitter is blocked in China) that translates to "I support Hong Kong's police, you can beat me up now." These are words of Fu Guohao, a mainland Chinese journalist who was roughed up by protestors after being caught taking close-up pictures of them at the Hong Kong airport and refusing to show his press credentials (the details here are scant as much of the information available is Chinese propaganda). Upon returning to China, he has been deemed a hero, and his words have become a rallying cry against pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters.

Liu's post, which was originally printed in China's state-backed People's Daily, concluded: "What a shame for Hong Kong." Liu added the hashtag "IAlsoSupportTheHongKongPolice" alongside a heart emoji and a bicep flex.

The backlash against Liu was immediate, with #BoycottMulan trending in both Hong Kong and the US on Twitter. She's been globally criticized for supporting a police force that is currently being accused of human rights violations against protesters by the UN.

"Disney's Mulan actress, Liu Yifei, supports police brutality and oppression in Hong Kong. Liu is a naturalized American citizen. it must be nice. meanwhile she pisses on people fighting for democracy," wrote Twitter user Sean Norton.

But while Liu's post certainly is not a good look for a Western movie star, disturbing evidence suggests that her sentiments might not be entirely her own.

In fact, around the same time, a ton of other Chinese celebrities shared roughly the same sentiment, with startling uniformity: the same "What a shame for Hong Kong" picture (or, alternatively, the Chinese Five-starred Red Flag), the same "IAlsoSupportTheHongKongPolice" hashtag, and very little else.

chinese celebrity propaganda pds.joins.com

Some internationally known Chinese celebrities, like singer Lay Zhang, posted the same thing on Twitter:

What's stranger is that none of these celebrities seem particularly well-known for their political activism.

Then, in another instance, many other accounts shared the same exact message as China Central Television: "Hong Kong is part of China forever," followed by the Chinese Flag emoji.

Isn't it strange to see so many influential Chinese social media accounts essentially copying and pasting the same messages in coordination? Moreover, the comment sections for all of these posts (including Lay Zhang's tweet) are full of people supporting mainland China and the Hong Kong police against pro-democracy protesters. This anti-democracy sentiment seems especially weird on Twitter, considering, again, most of the Chinese people who hold these sentiments wouldn't typically have access to the platform.

This isn't to say that Liu Yifei doesn't actually support the Hong Kong police, nor mainland China's claim to ownership of Hong Kong. She very well might. But the possibility also exists that the Chinese government is forcibly using influential Chinese celebrities as mouthpieces for political purposes.

This is not unprecedented in China. There, celebrities' careers are explicitly tied to whether or not they hold favor with the ruling party. This was proven when they "disappeared" their most famous and successful actress, Fan Bingbing, over supposed tax evasion charges. Some, however, suspect her disappearance had everything to do with her growing international influence. She quietly returned months later, oddly sharing a pro-China Communist Youth League post in response to a director who supported Taiwan's autonomy.

"China cannot miss out on any inch," shared Fan.

fan bingbing propaganda

Moreover, even a naturalized American citizen like Liu isn't necessarily safe. The Chinese government has a tendency to use family members still living in mainland China to silence and control expats who might prove problematic. Such was the case for Anastasia Lin, a China-born Canadian beauty queen who spoke out about human-rights abuses in China, only for herself and her family to become targets of the Chinese government's wrath.

"My father sent me a text message saying that they have contacted him telling him that if I continue to speak up, my family would be persecuted like in the Cultural Revolution. My father's generation grew up in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, so for him it's the biggest threat you can make. It means you die, you get publicly persecuted," said Lin.

With a government like the Communist Party of China, which has unprecedented control over its people, it's hard to say what celebrity political endorsements are genuine and which are forced propaganda. While it may be a combination of the two, as seems to be the case with Hong Kong-born action-star Jackie Chan, who now goes above and beyond as a pro-China advocate, one can never really know for sure. When "freedom" is removed from the equation and the safety of someone's family hangs in the balance, it's impossible to distinguish which Chinese celebrities are patriots and which are victims.