China turned on Chloé Zhao, the Beijing-born Golden Globe winner, and censored her film after people found old interviews where she slammed China
Chinacheered on Chloé Zhao after she won a Golden Globe for directing " Nomadland" last month.
- But the country soon turned on her, after old interviews where she criticized China emerged.
- The film's hashtags and posters have since been removed from Chinese social media and film websites.
China has turned on Chloé Zhao, the Beijing-born director of "Nomadland," and censored searches for her movie after old interviews in which she criticized China were unearthed.
"Nomadland" won a Golden Globe for best film on February 28. Zhao also won a Golden Globe for the best director award, becoming the first Asian woman do so.
In the aftermath, Chinese internet users celebrated her victory. By the end of March 1, the hashtag "Zhao wins Golden Globe Awards" had been used 210 million times on Weibo, China's popular microblogging site, the state-run Global Times reported.
But Zhao was vilified soon after, after several quotes she had given in past interviews were unearthed and proliferated across Chinese social media.
In an article published in Filmmaker Magazine in 2013, Zhao had described being in China as a teenager, and called the country "a place where there are lies everywhere." That quote has been deleted from the original article, the Associated Press reported.
In a screengrab from a separate interview published by News.com.au in 2020, Zhao was quoted are saying: "The US is now my country." On March 3, the website updated the original article to say it had misquoted Zhao, and that she had instead said the US is "not" her country.
Zhao's comments went down poorly among many Chinese citizens, and the popular #Nomadland hashtag has since vanished from Weibo, The New York Times reported.
According to the AP, a search for the Weibo hashtags "Nomadland has a release date" and the film's Chinese title "No land to rely on" now prompts the message: "According to the relevant laws, regulations and policies, the page is not found."
A Weibo post from the National Arthouse Alliance of Cinemas that used the film's poster has also been deleted, the AP said. Douban, a Chinese review platform, also removed all promotional "Nomadland" content.
"Nomadland" was scheduled to premiere in China on April 23.
In China, movies deemed to cast a bad light on the country or its culture are often censored or pulled from cinemas.
Most recently, the Hollywood film "Monster Hunter" was pulled in December after people criticized a scene in the film in which the word "Chinese" was used as the punchline of a childish joke.
Similarly, trending, or sensitive subjects on Weibo are often censored or vanish altogether.
In February 2020, scores of Weibo posts marking the death of the whistleblowing Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, who tried to sound the alarm about a new coronavirus in early 2020, were censored by the site.
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