Chinese broadcaster censored Rami Malek's Oscar speech

Hanna Flint
THE OSCARS® – The 91st Oscars® broadcasts live on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood and will be televised live on The ABC Television Network at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST. (Craig Sjodin via Getty Images) RAMI MALEK

A Chinese broadcaster has come under fire for censoring Rami Malek’s Oscars acceptance speech and blurring out Lady Gaga.

The Bohemian Rhapsody star, who won Best Actor on Sunday night for his role as Freddie Mercury, said at the Dolby Theatre: “We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically himself.”

Mango TV – who tried to ban all gay content on its channel – chose to broadcast the speech online but instead of Malek uttering “gay man” his words were translated to “special group” which has caused widespread criticism.

Rami Malek as gay icon Freddie Mercury

The Chinese social media platform Weibo was inundated with tweets accusing the broadcaster of homophobic censorship, according to the BBC.

Lady Gaga’s face was also blurred out during the Best Actress segment by Mango TV.

The singer-actress, who was nominated for her role in A Star is Born, was reportedly added to a list of hostile foreigners by China’s Communist Party in 2016 because she met with the Dalai Lama.

Chinese rulers consider the Tibetan exile a separatist and took issue with Gaga’s meeting with him at a conference in Indianapolis where they discussed yoga.

Media organisations were reportedly instructed to ban Gaga from their platforms, and it looks as though Mango TV stuck with it as other channels did show her image.

Last year, the channel was barred by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) from broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest because it blurred LGBT references in the show including rainbow flags in the audience.

“On the 9th of May, Chinese broadcaster Mango TV broadcast the first Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest live but two performances were censored,” the EBU said in a statement. “This is not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.

“It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second Semi-Final or the Grand Final.”

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