Wednesday 5/12/21
OSCARS 2021

China censors reports about Beijing-born Chloe Zhao's Oscar award

Major state media, including the state news agency Xinhua and the state broadcaster CCTV, on Monday did not report at all on the prize.
25 April 2021, US, Los Angeles: Chinese Director and producer Chloe Zhao accepts the Oscar for Directing during the live ABC Telecast of the 93rd Oscars Academy Awards at Union Station in Los Angeles. Photo: Todd Wawrychuk/A.M.P.A.S./dpa
Chinese Director and producer Chloe Zhao accepts the Oscar at Union Station in Los Angeles. Photo: Todd Wawrychuk/dpa.

China's leadership has reacted with censorship and tight lips to Beijing-born filmmaker Chloe Zhao's historic success at the Oscars.

Major state media, including the state news agency Xinhua and the state broadcaster CCTV, on Monday did not report at all on the prize awarded to Zhao, a US citizen who spent her childhood in China.

Social media posts on the topic were partially deleted.

A spokesperson for the Beijing Foreign Ministry declined to comment, only saying that it was "not a diplomatic matter."

Zhao won the award for best director at the ceremony on Sunday. Her film 'Nomadland' also won two other Oscars for best film and best female lead, which went to Frances McDormand.

Zhao was only the second woman to be honoured with the Oscar for best director in the 93-year history of the awards.

She is also the first woman of colour and the first Chinese woman to win the prize.

'China's pride'

In early March, the Chinese newspaper Global Times had still hailed Zhao as "China's pride" after she was honoured at the Golden Globes.

25 April 2021, US, Los Angeles: Chinese Director and producer Chloe Zhao poses with one of her Oscars awards for Best Picture and Director for 'Nomadland', at the press room of the 93rd Oscars Academy Awards at Union Station in Los Angeles. Photo: Matt Petit/Ampas/PA Media/dpa

But then an old interview with Zhao surfaced on the internet in China, in which she had criticized the People's Republic as a "place of lies."

Publicity material and references to "Nomadland" have been deleted in recent days. Information about the film also disappeared from Chinese ticket websites.

*Photo included in this text by Matt Petit/dpa.

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