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China censorship prohibits Hong Kong broadcasters from airing Oscars for first time in over 50 years

Some of the nominated films cover the pro-democracy protests and ideas that come from semi-autonomous Hong Kong.

Published: March 29, 2021 1:11pm

Updated: March 30, 2021 9:53pm

The Academy Awards have been broadcast in Hong Kong annually since 1969, but next month's ceremony will not be aired on any channel in the country due to the Chinese state media strictly censoring the semi-autonomous region's global news consumption.

A local broadcaster confirmed on Monday that the Hollywood awards show will not be aired as doubts exist as to whether mainland China will air the program. Earlier this month, the Chinese Communist Party ordered the media to play down the awards and not air the live ceremony, according to Bloomberg News

Some nominated films including "Do Not Split" document Hong Kong's fight for democracy, which the Chinese government appears to be attempting to block. Chinese-born US director Chloe Zhao's film “Nomadland” has also been nominated, but Chinese nationalists and media have been critical of the movie. 

"It was purely a commercial decision that we decided not to pursue the Oscars this year," broadcasting company TVB told news agency AFP.

While Hong Kong remains under the "one country, two systems" model, the Chinese mainland system appears to be growing more controlling of the pro-democracy opinions coming from Hong Kong. 

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