How Frustration Over Terrible TV Shows Helped Spark A Revolution In Hong Kong
Among the demands of the notably polite, youthful protesters who have been camping out on Hong Kong's streets are universal suffrage, the resignation of the Hong Kong's chief executive, and a more responsive government.But another factor driving the protests appears to be pop culture. An interesting precursor to this week's Occupy Central movement began last year, when the government denied a broadcast license to HKTV, a would-be third free TV network that had been developed, with much fanfare, as a competitor to the city's two existing free channels. It seems many residents - especially the younger generation - found the existing offerings lacking, complaining that the programming was too formulaic, predictable, and safe.
"HKTV planted the root of many of the protests happening this year," Yip tells Business Insider. "The HKTV incident just taught us an important lesson that being silent and being nice will not make the government change its mind."Indeed, Joshua Wong, the 17-year-old student leader who's become the face of the current Hong Kong protests, was also reportedly active in the earlier demonstrations. Protestors have been calling for Leung to resign since the latest demonstrations started last week. They view him as too closely aligned with the Beijing government, which recently announced that it would screen all candidates who wish to be considered for the city's 2017 chief executive election.
So far, Leung has refused to step down.
Political issues might be the main factor driving this week protestors, but the HKTV controversy helped get Hong Kong's youth interested when they might have otherwise been passive.Cloud Yip contributed reporting for this story.
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