Actor Julian Cheung unlikely to change straight-talking ways
Despite receiving flak for his joke, Hong Kong actor Julian Cheung won't 'change his ways'
You'd think after drawing backlash for his joke about euthanising his dog, Hong Kong actor Julian Cheung would have a self-imposed gag order.
Instead, the 44-year-old father of one told The New Paper yesterday that "netizens are too serious and need to lighten up".
Last week, Cheung received a barrage of online hate while promoting his new romance flick, Return Of The Cuckoo, in Hong Kong.
During an interview with Hong Kong media, he expressed frustration about his yet-to-be house-trained puppy, which has been urinating in his home.
Cheung joked that he should euthanise the dog.
When his comments were published, they incurred the wrath of dog lovers on Facebook. Several slammed the star for his "wicked conduct".
He subsequently apologised for his "careless remarks", but took a dig at netizens' lack of a funny bone.
"When my son is naughty, I say I want to choke him, but does that mean I'll do it? Do people really have no sense of humour now?" Cheung reportedly told the Hong Kong press.
In town to promote Return Of The Cuckoo - which opens here on Thursday - with co-star Charmaine Sheh, Cheung said that being candid has always been his personality and he is "unlikely to change" because of this.
"I'm a straight-talking person. It'll be very hard for me to change this side of me" he said in Mandarin.
"My wife (Hong Kong actress Anita Yuen) knows about this whole incident. It left her speechless.
"If I can't even crack a joke, isn't life too serious?"
His nine-year-old son Morton is unaware of the saga, added Cheung.
"I hope (netizens) lighten up and create a more peaceful mood (in cyberspace)," he said.
"I don't see a need to 'change my ways'. My comment was meant to be a joke, I love animals and I have had many pets in the past."
At the press conference prior to our interview, it was evident that Cheung is fond of hyperbole.
When asked if he had experienced any emotional ups and downs, he blurted: "Of course. When I lose money at a mahjong game, I get so upset I want to commit suicide!"
Following awkward laughter from the floor, he added: "But that feeling is fleeting. The next day, I'll be fine."