Taiwan’s 26th Golden Melody Awards kicked off on Saturday at the Taipei Arena, where awards were presented to stars for their contributions in the fields of Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, and Formosan music. Unfortunately, viewers in Singapore and mainland China didn’t get the chance to enjoy the whole show.
The annual music award show, founded in 1990, often sees award-winning artists use the stage as a platform to bring awareness to political, war or human rights issues. While such campaigning may be tolerated in Taiwan, it most certainly doesn’t get the pass from censors in Beijing and Singapore, whose are hardly subtle when it comes to editing.
When singer Huang Wei-chieh (黃瑋傑) stepped onto the red carpet with huge banners reading “Today Dapu, Tomorrow the Government (今天拆大埔，明天拆政府)”, Singapore’s broadcasters simply switched to a blank screen. Viewers were greeted with an alternate message, reading: “This segment of the program is not suitable for broadcast. We apologize for the inconvenience caused”, according to the blog Thinking Taiwan. The words on Huang’s banner have become a symbol of civil resistance to forced evictions in Dapu, Maoli County since 2013.
As for mainland China, viewers completely missed out on the award for the Song of the Year, because the segment was instantly blocked when Fire EX’s (滅火器) “Island’s Sunrise” (島嶼天光) was announced as the winner. The song became an unofficial anthem for last year’s Sunflower Movement, which saw thousands of student protestors rallying against Taiwan’s proposed Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement with Beijing.
Meanwhile, many of Taiwan’s news broadcasters, including their state-run Central News Agency, Focus Taiwan, also neglected to report on Fire EX’s win. Instead, media exhaustively covered awards won by artists such as Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), A-mei(張惠妹) and Eason Chan (陳奕迅).
Previously, Singapore also banned Jolin Tsai’s music video for “We’re All different, Yet The Same”, which featured a lesbian couple and was inspired by a true story.
[Images via ChinaNews//Udn]
By Sharon Choi