Gay and Lesbian Content Censored in Asia Oscar Re-Broadcast
Monday I posted a note from a reader that Lance Black's speech and other gay content in Sunday's Academy Awards presentation had been cut from broadcast in India.
Now, the AP reports the censorship took place on a much broader scale:
"The speeches by actor Sean Penn and writer Dustin Lance Black — who won Oscars for their work in 'Milk' — were shown in full during live broadcasts of the Oscars that were screened across Asia on Monday morning. But viewers who caught recorded telecasts in the evening on STAR, an Asian satellite TV service that says it reaches more than 300 million viewers in 53 countries, noticed that the sound was removed whenever both men mentioned 'gay' or 'lesbian.' ... 'As a gay man, I am truly offended,' Pang Khee Teik, a prominent Malaysian arts commentator, wrote in a letter sent out to several media organizations. 'Stop censoring the words that describe who I am.' Pang said the move 'sent a message ... that gays and lesbians are still shameful things to be censored from the public's ears.' Users of Internet forums in Singapore and India also complained about the censored speeches. Jannie Poon, STAR's Hong Kong-based spokeswoman, stressed that the company had no intention of upsetting any viewers, but said it has 'a responsibility to take the sensitivities and guidelines of all our markets into consideration.' Poon said she was not immediately aware that the speeches had been censored, but noted that STAR's preliminary ratings for the Oscar broadcasts indicated 'record-breaking' audiences, especially in India and Taiwan."
Viewers apparently saw Black and Penn speaking, but heard nothing coming from their sets.