The fireworks were edited in, the young girl was just lip-syncing, and in the third case of misrepresentation from the Olympic opening ceremony, the 56 children representing China’s 56 ethnic groups have also been found to be mostly Han Chinese children dressed up to represent the minorities. This admission was first made by Yuan Zhifeng, deputy director of Galaxy Children’s Art Troupe, which oversaw that segment of the programme, to the Asian Wall Street Journal.
The multimedia fireworks we can accept, and as for the lip-syncing, even the best of singers are guilty of it from time to time, but fake children from ethnic minorities to portray a vision of a harmonious utopia to an international audience at an event like the Olympics? That’s just kinda lame.
Equally unimpressive was the feeble attempt by Wang Wei, executive vice-president of BOCOG, to downplay the fakery:
“Some performers were dressed in ethnic costumes, which are very normal in mainland performances. There is nothing special…”
“I don’t know the concrete details and where the children are from. China has such a tradition in art performance [where] you can wear costumes of minority groups.
“As long as there is a need, performers will wear the costumes to signify people’s friendship and happiness.”
Seriously, creative director Zhang Yimou should have realised that even if this was standard practice across China and acceptable to local audiences who don’t typically question what they see, we aren’t doing a movie production here.
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AFP: ‘Ethnic minority’ children at Olympics ceremony were fake: report