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John Legend and Common won plenty of Twitter kudos for name-checking Hong Kong’s Occupy Central pro-democracy protests in their acceptance speech after they won best song at the Oscars, although their remarks went unmentioned in TV coverage in the territory.
However, there was no reference to Common’s remarks by the commentary team on Hong Kong’s Pearl TV, which was broadcasting the awards live.
“The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South Side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life, to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy,” said Common.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, but Beijing’s refusal to grant a fully democratic election for the city’s chief executive in 2017 prompted Occupy Central protests late last year.
Although the protests sites have been largely cleared, public opinion is divided over the issue. and government officials have repeatedly accused unspecified foreign forces of instigating the unrest.
There was also little reference to the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour won the Oscar for best documentary. Laura Poitras’ film starts with her meeting in Hong Kong with Snowden and investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Props to Common for mentioning the people of Hong Kong and their struggle for democracy. So moved. #Oscars
— B (@eyetotelescope) February 23, 2015
— Eugenia Beh (@ebeh) February 23, 2015
— Joyce Hau (@jhau727) February 23, 2015
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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures