South Korean TV broadcaster SBS faces backlash for censoring Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech at Oscars

South Korean broadcaster SBS is currently under fire for omitting a part of Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech at the 95th Academy Awards.

Updated on Mar 15, 2023   |  01:24 PM IST  |  96.2K
Everything Everywhere All at Once; Picture Courtesy: GSC Movies
Everything Everywhere All at Once; Picture Courtesy: GSC Movies

Leading South Korean TV and radio broadcaster SBS is currently facing severe backlash on account of its censorship over Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech at Oscars. Michelle Yeoh was recently awarded the Best Actress Award at the 95th Academy Awards for her role in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’. Following the announcement of her award, Michelle Yeoh gave an acceptance speech “Thank you. For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities and this is proof that dreams… dream big and dreams do come true and ladies don’t let anybody tell you that you’re past your prime. Never give up.”

SBS’ censorship over Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech 

The speech quickly went viral for Michelle Yeoh’s uplifting and empowering speech and was shown by multiple broadcasters across the world and especially in Asia. In doing the latter however, leading South Korean broadcaster SBS censored the word ‘ladies’ from  Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech. The censorship was quick to get noticed by viewers and was subjected to much criticism for the same. The broadcasting network was called out for its misogyny by a good portion of netizens. A lot of people also recalled similar incidents from the past where SBS was under fire for its misogynistic moves.

SBS’ response

After facing backlash on such a massive scale, SBS finally released a statement, defending itself. In the statement SBS mentioned excluding ‘the word’ because they did not think the message ‘Don’t let anyone tell you you are ever past your prime’ was exclusive to women. While SBS had released the statement hoping it would calm the online agitation, their statement made netizens scoff at how unavailing it was. Many netizens were in fact baffled at how audaciously the network had chosen to tailor Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech to their own interpretation. 

Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian woman to win the Best Actress Award at the Academy Awards. Her aforementioned accomplishment has not only made history but has in fact made all Asians proud. Her words addressing her people and women in general were heartfelt and resonated with many. Making any improvisations to anything that is this sincere and significant is likely to invite criticism.

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