The much awaited and 2021’s possibly largest offline award ceremony at a global level, the 93rd Academy Award will not be broadcast by China’s Hong Kong TV station, the TVB (Televisions Broadcast Limited).
Most viewers have stated a possible political controversy to be the reason behind this broadcast ban as the Academy has nominated a certain Anti-China film.
It is claimed that the primary reason behind TVB not broadcasting the 2021 Oscars is the Academy’s nomination of the short documentary Do Not Split, that covered the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests and the 2019, police violence that swamped Hong Kong.
Additionally the nomination of Nomadland is also one of the reasons behind the broadcast ban, a film directed by the controversial director Chloe Zhao, who had made headlines for her statement in an interview where she had said “China is a place where there are lies everywhere”.
Initially many viewers claimed that the decision by TVB to not broadcast the Oscars was motivated by commercial concerns, but those claims have been now ditched as its clear that a successful win for the documentary Do Not Split would have given wide international coverage to the 2019 Hong Kong pro-democracy protests that saw much bloodshed and violence.
This is a clear political maneuver and a ploy to avoid global attraction to China’s anti-democracy stance in Hong Kong where the CCP muzzled protestors and silenced the media causing chaos within the online community in China.
Film critics also claimed that an Oscar win for the film Do Not Split would have opened the can of worms and strained China-US relations further as the film would have shed light on China’s treatment of the Hong Kong protestors.
The Biden administration on previous interactions with Xi Jinping has strongly called out China’s nefarious tactics and clear human right violations in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Hong Kong’s TVB hence thought best to simply not broadcasting the Oscars to avoid political embarrassment.
Critics have stated that the commercial reasons being cited by TVB behind not broadcasting the Oscars should be rubbished and the decision clearly reeks of government censorship.
Do Not Split’s director Ander Hammers was displeased with the decision to not broadcast the Oscars and blamed Beijing’s insecurity behind attempts to censor the film in China and Hong Kong.
Slammers remarked that the broadcast ban has had a reverse effect as now more people are talking about the film leading to indirect publicity.
Earlier in March, Chinese media regulators were ordered not to air the Oscars live on any streaming platforms and that a censored version would be aired later.
Therefore not only in Hong Kong, but viewers in other parts of China too will not have access to the Oscars for the first time in 50 years.
Many people have even claimed that the CCP’s propaganda department has ordered media outlets to broadcast awards that are not politically controversial, further censoring what the people get to watch in China.
Despite the nominations of a Chinese centric documentary and a Chinese directed major Hollywood film, its Chinese viewers will be bereft of an opportunity to appreciate these films receiving global acclaim at the 93rd Academy Award, owing to the CCP’s continuing need to maintain censorship and avoid political flak.
The decision to continually censor content with any element of anti-China rhetoric is being seen by viewers as an affront to their rights and an overzealous reaction in order to avoid a future unrest.