China blanks out first Oscar award to Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao
Beijing-born filmmaker Chloe Zhao, who won two Oscars and became the first Asian woman to win the best director award, ironically made no waves in her homeland as her name was either censored or downplayed by the Chinese government and the official media here.
“A lot of info I received when I was younger was not true, and I became very rebellious toward my family and my background,'' Zhao was quoted by the BBC as saying.
On Monday there was a deafening silence in China about the Chinese-born, British-educated, US-based Zhao’s victory which hit the world headlines as she was the first woman of colour and only the second woman at all - to win the best director award at the Oscars.
“I don’t think that is a diplomatic question”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin shot back when asked about Zhao’s historic feat and reports of her name being censored both by the official media and the social media, Weibo, akin to Twitter in China.
Zhao also won the best picture for Nomadland, her third feature film.
Guda Baihua, a popular Weibo influencer with 13 million fans, who mostly translates news of US shows, commentaries and live events, sent out a video of Zhao’s acceptance speech with the vague title “A speech at an Academy Award” to evade the censors.
But two hours later, his video was taken down.
The public scrutiny intensified when the quotes from her 2013 interview surfaced.
Zhao’s description of China, where she spent her teenage years, as “a place where there are lies everywhere” was much criticised.
Some found the comment offensive and accused her of “insulting China”.
Since then, publicity about the film has been removed from social media in China and it has caused heated debate.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)