Speed Reads

2021 Oscars

Chinese state media reportedly ordered not to report on Chloé Zhao's Oscar wins

The Chinese government is not celebrating Chloé Zhao's historic Oscar victories, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Zhao, who was born and raised in China before moving to the United States in high school, on Sunday night became the first woman of color (and only the second woman ever) to win Best Director at the Academy Awards for her film Nomadland, which also notched best picture. But most state-controlled media organizations in her country of birth did not spread the news, with two state media journalists telling The Wall Street Journal that they had received orders from Beijing's propaganda ministry not to report on Zhao's awards. Congratulatory messages directed at Zhao on Chinese social media sites were also reportedly taken down.

The clampdown isn't entirely surprising. As the Journal notes, when Zhao first began racking up accolades for Nomadland earlier this year, a 2013 interview in which Zhao referred to China as a place "where there are lies everywhere" resurfaced, sparking a backlash to the initial excitement.

The Global Times published the sole Chinese state-media acknowledgement of Zhao's big night. It was packaged in an English-language editorial calling on the director to become "more mature" and "avoid being a friction point." Read more at The Wall Street Journal.