Hong Kong Broadcaster Snubs Oscars

Hong Kong’s leading TV broadcaster will not air the Academy Awards next month for the first time in more than half a century.

Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) has been home to the awards in Hong Kong since 1969. Its decision not to broadcast the ceremony this year was “purely a commercial decision,” a spokesperson said. But the decision to drop the Oscars comes as two nominees — “Do Not Split,” a documentary about the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and Chloe Zhao, who wrote and directed the drama “Nomadland” — face heated criticism in mainland China. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported earlier this month that China’s propaganda department ordered all local media outlets not to broadcast the ceremony live and to downplay coverage of the awards.

This news comes as a blow to the already dwindling Oscar viewing figures.

Hong Kong Broadcaster Snubs Academy Awards
Hong Kong Broadcaster Snubs Academy Awards

hao, who was born in China, recently made history as the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe for best director. Her film “Nomadland” is nominated for several Oscars, including best picture, best director, best actress and best adapted screenplay.

Zhao was initially hailed in Chinese state media as the “pride of China,” but the mood shifted after a 2013 interview that she gave to US-based “Filmmaker” magazine surfaced on social media. During the interview, Zhao said she grew up in China where “there are lies everywhere.” Some Chinese social media users questioned whether Zhao could still be considered Chinese, given her remarks and her ties to the United States and the United Kingdom, where she was educated.

Promotional materials for “Nomadland,” along with the hashtag for the film, have been removed from social media platforms in China, according to the Global Times, a state-owned tabloid.

Meanwhile, there has barely been any coverage of the documentary “Do Not Split” in Chinese state media or social media, which are heavily censored and vetted by the government. The film, which is nominated for best documentary (short subject), chronicles the mass protests in Hong Kong that erupted in 2019 over an extradition bill.

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Hong Kong Broadcaster Snubs Academy Awards

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