Monday, March 02, 2009
Chinese Oscar Speeches re:MILK censored in China, big deal
This is a response to a post on Huffington, How Beijing Butchered Sean Penn's "Commie, Homo-Loving" Oscar Speech. The author was frothing at the mouth at how the Oscar speeches around MILK's wins were censored on CCTV, on their Oscars broadcast. I personally thought it was fantastic that they broadcast any of it.
Living recently in China for years, I met a number of gay people from teens to their forties. Social acceptance is proceeding apace with their economic growth and increasing Western influence. Larger cities have lively gay venues. With a graying population and a government of elders, there is resistance at the top, which is where the censorship originates.
There are four confluent issues here: acceptance of homosexuality, censorship of media, resistance to authority, and the word Commie. The latter might well have been the most provocative factor. Once you let loose with the word Commie, even the most modernized of Chinese might bristle. (Penn meant it as a term of endearment, but that's beside the point.) Communism was bestowed by Mao, who is still deeply revered.
Not much needs to be said about the Chinese attitude toward resistance to authority. But in regards to censorship, it might surprise you (as it did me) to find out that censorship, does not offend Chinese the way it does us in the West. They view it as an accommodation to the enormous cultural and generational diversity in their great nation, and as a buffer to instability, which is more dreaded than censorship or totalitarianism.
That said, by the sheer persistence of quality gay-themed major motion pictures and other Western entertainment, the message of tolerance and protectiveness of gay concerns will eventually take root in China. Sooner, I sometimes think, than it will here in the U.S..
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
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