China tightens censorship on film award broadcast

The Chinese government has yet again tightened its censorship, banning some words as well as the broadcasting of two major movie award ceremonies.

China will enact a strict law which states all foreign-produced content - even those which are considered joint ventures with local companies – must be approved by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT). Subsequently, the Chinese authorities announced 45 forbidden words not to be used by the media, while the Hong Kong Film Awards and Taipei's Golden Horse Awards will not be broadcast in China.

The Chinese government tightens its censorship because the authorities reportedly want to prevent “any bad influence brought by Hong Kong and Taiwanese films.” Independent media outlet Bowen Press recently published an article which cited from governmental sources that “the societies in Taiwan and Hong Kong have gone through some changes this year; thus, in order to prevent bad influences from films or speeches that do not fit the national conditions, all media platforms will stop live telecast film award ceremonies of Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

Hong Kong Film Awards chairman Derek Tung-Sing Yee admits that major broadcasters and online media outlets will not air the ceremony this year. The Chinese government appears to be concerned over the rise of local consciousness in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Hong Kong, a critically acclaimed film, “Ten Years”, covers sensitive subjects such as ongoing political, social and housing problems. On the other hand, the Chinese state-owned media outlet Global Times mocked the film, calling it ridiculous and accusing the filmmakers of attempting to spread anxiety and fear.

The tightening of China’s censorship perhaps exemplifies the authorities’ fear of change in the Chinese society. As Taiwan has elected its first female president while civil unrest has continued to expand in Hong Kong, the Chinese authorities want only to deal with controllable variables.