Oscars: Russian Broadcaster Cancels Airing Due to Ukraine Crisis
MOSCOW – The Russian state-run Channel One has canceled a live broadcast of the Oscar ceremony to focus on covering ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
"Due to a large number of news reports on the situation around the autonomous republic of Crimea and Ukraine and due to the viewers' increased interest in news, Channel One considers the live broadcasting of the Oscar ceremony for five hours to be inappropriate, especially in the early morning hours [Moscow time], when the maximum amount of news broadcasting is done," the network said on its web site.
The ceremony is to be aired late at night on Monday, the station added.
Channel One, Russia's largest TV channel, broadcasted live several previous Oscar ceremonies. This year, the broadcast was originally scheduled to begin at 4 am Moscow time. In accordance with the schedule currently available on the network's web site, a documentary on a veteran local TV presenter is to be broadcasted instead, followed by a morning news show.
Meanwhile, film critic Yuri Gladilshchikov, who was supposed to be one of the commentators of the Oscar ceremony, quoted an unnamed Channel One producer on his Facebook account as saying that a group of politicians were to be invited for a live talk show in the time slot previously allocated to the Oscar broadcast.
As tensions escalate between Ukraine and Russia over Ukraine's autonomous Black Sea region of Crimea, which has a predominantly Russian population, Russia's state-run TV stations, including Channel One, are widely believed to be used by the Kremlin as propaganda tools promoting the government strategy towards Ukraine.