Jane Zhang accuses MTV EMA of discrimination

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 27, 2015
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Angry Chinese singer Jane Zhang and her team on Monday accused MTV EMA of discrimination as they flew to Milan on Sunday to accept an award, discovering they could only do it backstage.

Jane Zhang. [File photo]

Jane Zhang was voted the Best World Act of the Asia region in 2015. When she and her team happily went to the award ceremony, she was told to stay backstage and accept the award there.

"Zhang and her team were suddenly told that they could not accept the award onstage." Her management agency Show City Times released a statement on Monday, "the organizers said it was because some other Worldwide Acts from other countries and regions didn't come so that anyone who came had to accept the award backstage."

It continued, "We were attending the event with respect to MTV EMA and with gratitude for tens of thousands of fans for their votes. But we cannot accept this treatment which was seriously unfair and discriminative, so we decided to officially pull out of the award’s red carpet ceremony and all other activities of EMA. "

Michael Feng, the CEO of Show City Times and the fiancé of Zhang, angrily said in an interview with Star Daily, "In the past, Chinese artists have accepted awards onstage, why should we accept it backstage? We can't accept this; this was discrimination and an insult. "

He added, "the organizers said there were six award recipients for the category, but not all of them have come. As they cannot come out together, the ones who came should do it backstage. This was ridiculous! Why should we be affected by those who are absent? We came here to get on stage to show gratitude for the award and thank the fans. Letting us get on stage is a basic respect, as we came all the way from China. If we can only do it backstage, why did we have to go there in the first place?"

Feng said one representative even told them "Justin Bieber would do it backstage." He pointed out this was also a kind of discrimination, saying, "the representative used Bieber to press us, which means they look down upon Chinese music. They thought ‘even Bieber would do it so why couldn't you?' It was very unfair and made us very uncomfortable."

Bieber won Best World Act for North America that night but he also won four other awards including best male performer, best collaboration, best look and biggest fans so he actually went on stage to receive awards.

"We just stopped everything," Feng said, "I think every Chinese artist would do the same if they were in the same position. And we will never participate in this award in the future."

Jane Zhang herself didn't speak too much to the media but only wrote two words "Thank you!" along with posting some photos of hers on her Weibo microblog after the fiasco. The post generated more than 13,700 retweets, 6,510 comments and 55,600 "likes" thus far.

MTV China later responded to the incident on Monday night with a statement saying they were informed that the Worldwide Acts category only required taped message forms for artists to accept awards on the award ceremony day. "The MTV China team has tried hard to communicate with both parties, and regrets the eventual results. We can understand Jane Zhang and her team's reaction. Now, we are still actively communicating with relevant parties on this issue and hope to win over more interests for artists in every continent including Asia."

It added at last, "we thank fans and the media for their votes and support as always, and MTV China will never change its position of support for Chinese artists." MTV EMA hasn't responded to the controversy yet.

Chinese singers Han Geng, Chris Lee, and Zhou Bichang won the Worldwide Act award during 2012 -2014. They all went on stage to accept awards.

The MTV EMA award ceremony was staged in the Mediolanum Forum in Milan and drew over 603 million votes this year, according to MTV.

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