Chinese or Chinese-American? Chinese netizens question nationality of Golden Globe-winning director Chloe Zhao
Published: Mar 02, 2021 04:35 PM
Zhao Ting Photo:VCG

Zhao Ting Photo:VCG

Chinese netizens started to question the nationality of star director Zhao Ting, also known as Chloe Zhao after they found some controversial comments that Zhao previously made during previous interviews with two overseas media outlets, which have now been deleted.

Snapshots of Zhao's interviews in Film Maker magazine's article 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2013 and Australian media in 2020 are being widely spread on Chinese social media.

Netizens found that the quote containing "It goes back to when I was a teenager in China, being in a place where there are lies everywhere" had been removed from the 25 New Faces of Independent Film article. However, the removed section can still be found on archived versions of the article as well as from other media outlets quoting the magazine.

Similarly, the sentence that "The US is now my country" had also been removed from a previous interview with, but can be found on other media sites that referenced the article. 

Many netizens wondered if the chances were made because Zhao's PR team had asked for sensitive content to be removed, while the latter quote caused some to question Zhao's nationality.

While many Western outlets, including The New York Times, introduces Zhao as "Asian-American," in a Sina Weibo post on Monday her stepmother Song Dandan, a well-known Chinese comedic actress, called Zhao a "Chinese girl."

"A Chinese girl who did not understand English and went abroad to study at the age of 16…Today, you fight for the strengths of others in their home country, and achieved such a good record. You are the legend of our family, and I believe your story will also inspire countless Chinese children," read the post.

Some netizens seemed not to care about the controversy, posting that "No matter what her nationality is, she is indeed a talent and deserves everyone's respect and praise."

Global Times