Tue, Sep 25, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Golden Horse host sparks controversy

PRO-CHINA STANCE?Many netizens questioned why the awards chose China’s Huang Bo, rather than a Taiwanese host, which left the film industry divided

By Wu Chih-wei and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Chinese actor Huang Bo poses in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Television

The selection of a host for the 49th Golden Horse Awards has generated wide criticism from netizens, who said that the show was not putting Taiwan’s talents to good use and was overtly pro-China.

The Golden Horse Awards — the world’s first Chinese-language film awards, started by the government in 1962 — are given to honor achievements in the industry.

With the success of the host and hostess of the 48th Golden Horse Awards — Bowie Tsang (曾寶儀) and her father, Eric Tsang (曾志偉), a renowned Hong Kong director and actor — still fresh in people’s minds, especially with Eric Tsang asking Andy Lau (劉德華) about the rumors of his being a new father, netizens have lambasted the awards’ announcement on Friday of Huang Bo (黃渤) as the host.

Netizens’ complaints ranged from Huang being too boring to doubts as to whether the award recipients would be able to understand his Chinese-accented Mandarin.

Netizens also said that despite the promise of the Golden Bells Awards — an award honoring all channels of media — not to invite South Koreans, the Golden Horse Award’s invitation of a Chinese national as its host shows an excessively pro-China mentality and was an obvious attempt at bridging media circles across the Strait.

“Where are all the Taiwanese show hosts? Are they all dead and gone? Why are we using someone who is of Chinese nationality?” one netizen said.

The awards’ executive committee said in response to netizens’ criticism that Huang had been named best actor at the 46th Golden Horse Awards in 2009 and had exhibited strong wit and humor when invited as one of the guests conferring awards in 2010.

Huang has a strong relationship with Taiwan, which was one of the reasons he was chosen, the committee said.

Netizens were not the only ones to have expressed discontent over the choice, but people in the film industry — while voicing their opposition — are also more divided in their opinions.

Film director Yeh Tien-lun (業天倫) said: “I believe Huang will perform admirably in the position he’s been given, but Taiwan also has many able show hosts, such as Mickey Huang (黃子佼), Sam Tseng (曾國城) and even Timothy Chao (曹啟泰). They would all be good hosts as well. I regret that the annual movie event hosted by Taiwan could not consider using Taiwanese show hosts more.”

However, film producer Lee Lieh (李烈) said that he did not see why Huang should not host the show.

There was no opposition when Hong Kong’s Tsang hosted the show and viewers lauded his performance, Lee said, adding that the show — though made by Taiwan — does not have to be hosted by Taiwanese.

Lee said Huang was interesting and that he had great expectations for his performance.

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