Hashtag, poster of Nomadland removed from Chinese social media due to controversial comments of the director
Published: Mar 06, 2021 01:07 PM
Zhao Ting Photo:VCG

Zhao Ting Photo:VCG

After her past comments about China that were regarded as controversial sparked a backlash, promotional posters of Zhao's award-wining film Nomadland along with the hashtag of the film were removed from Chinese social media platforms, triggering an online discussion of whether the film will be released in China as scheduled. 

Douban, a Chinese film and TV review platform has removed all promotional posters of Nomadland. The film, directed by Zhao Ting (also known as Chloe Zhao), was scheduled to release in Chinese mainland on April 23. At the same time, the hashtag #Nomadland also disappeared on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform.

Neither Douban nor Weibo replied to the Global Times about the reason behind their removal. 

The controversy comes due to past comments Zhao made about China when she was interviewed by Filmmaker Magazine back in 2013. In it, she said, "it goes back to when I was a teenager in China, being in a place where there are lies everywhere." The quote was later deleted.

Another quote on Australian news portal in 2020, where she was quoted as saying "The US is now my country", was also removed.

Yet screenshots of those quotes went viral on Chinese social media, with many netizens calling her a "double-faced person." "It seems to me that Zhao wants to butter Western audiences up by smearing China. And when the controversy fermented, her previous comments were deleted. But sorry, we won't buy tickets for a double-faced director, bye," commented a Chinese netizen on Sina Weibo.

Netizens also dug out Zhao's family background. They found out that her stepmother is Song Dandan, a famous Chinese actress and her father a senior executive of a State-owned company. "How come such a prestigious family raised such an ungrateful kid who enjoyed various privileges which seems unattainable for normal children and she still turned out to do all the China-bashing."

There are also netizens on Douban who are calling for a boycott of Zhao's film.

Many netizens were also questioning whether the film will be screened in China as scheduled. Marvel's upcoming Eternals, also directed by Zhao, is planned to air in China in November .

So far there is no official information to confirm whether Nomadland will be screened in Chinese mainland as scheduled. 

Global Times