Norwegian documentary can create trouble for the Oscar TV broadcast in China

Documentary filmmaker and journalist Anders Hammer’s documentary about the protests in Hong Kong was nominated for an Oscar on Monday. Photo: Terje Bendiksby/NTB

The Norwegian documentary “Do not split” was on Monday nominated for an Oscar but because the documentary is about democracy rebellion in Hong Kong, China might not broadcast the Oscars on TV like they usually do.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources close to the state-owned Chinese television company China Central Television have said that they are awaiting confirmation on whether the Oscars will be broadcasted on television in China this year. Variety reports that the order to avoid live broadcasts and reduce awareness of the Oscars must have come from the propaganda department of the Chinese Communist Party as they are said to have asked Chinese media to report only on non-controversial prices.

Documentary filmmaker and journalist Anders Hammer made the short film about the protests in Hong Kong and in it he draws attention to how freedom of speech and freedom of the press is threatened in Hong Kong. Anders Hammer is pleased with the debate the documentary has contributed to and says to NRK after receiving the Oscar nomination, that the debate is about how democracy is disappearing in Hong Kong, and how China is tightening its grip regarding that issue.

The Oscars usually have a large audience in China but local media in the country are also said to have been told to tone down the coverage of the Oscars and avoid live broadcasts.

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