China also censored the Oscars

By |2018-01-15T16:07:04-05:00March 12th, 2009|News|

by Rex Wockner

Following reports that Singapore’s MediaCorp TV and the pan-Asian satellite network STAR censored gay content from their broadcasts of the Academy Awards, the Huffington Post reported that China also deleted most of the show’s gay parts and deliberately mistranslated the rest.

China Central Television deleted the two gay kisses that were part of the ceremony, removed Dustin Lance Black’s acceptance speech, and mistranslated Sean Penn.
Black, who won the original-screenplay Oscar for “Milk,” said, in part: “If Harvey (Milk) had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are ‘less than’ by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you, and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours.”
Penn, who won the best-actor Oscar for his portrayal of Milk, said: “You commie, homo-loving sons of guns. … For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect, and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”
CCTV translated “You commie, homo-loving sons of guns” as “You really are so generous,” the Post said.
And the part about gay marriage and shame was translated as “Everyone has equal rights.”
In Singapore, MediaCorp truncated both Penn’s and Milk’s speeches. MediaCorp/Channel 5 censorship manager David Christie said the Media Development Authority Programme Code “explicitly disallows content that sympathizes with, promotes or normalizes such a lifestyle from being broadcast.”
STAR, which reaches over 300 million people in more than 50 nations, muted the audio track each time the word “gay” or “lesbian” was uttered, reports said.

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.