Christian Bale Attacked on Visit to Chinese Dissident
Guards rough up actor, camera crew
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2011 1:57 AM CST

(Newser) – After an eight-hour drive from Beijing, Christian Bale wasn't allowed to visit a Chinese dissident. But by roughing up the Hollywood A-lister, guards ensured that the plight of Chen Guangcheng will get more attention worldwide. The actor and a CNN camera crew were punched and pushed by guards when they tried to enter the village where Chen, a blind human rights lawyer, has been illegally confined to his home since his release from prison last year, the New York Times reports.

After Bale and his group were chased away from the village, they were pursued for 40 minutes by men in a van. "I'm not brave doing this," Bale said. "The local people who are standing up to the authorities, who are visiting Chen and his family and getting beaten or detained, I want to support them." The attack on Bale looks like it will be a PR nightmare for the Chinese government: The actor was in China promoting his latest movie, Beijing-backed wartime drama The Flowers of War, set in 1930s Nanking.