Image: SBS News report of Michelle Yeoh's acceptance speech, which edited out the word "Ladies" from the video and subtitles. Credit: SBS News.
Michelle Yeoh made history on March 12 as the first Asian to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. In her acceptance speech, the 60-year-old Yeoh declared: “Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime.”
Kim Gwang-hyeon 김광현, a journalist at SBS News, apparently disagreed. In his coverage of the Oscars, Kim showed footage of Yeoh’s speech edited to remove the word “Ladies” from both the audio and and the subtitles. When outraged viewers demanded to know the reason for the edit, SBS News said “We deleted that word because we didn’t think her remarks only applied to women.”
It was not Kim’s first time doctoring news coverage. In 2013, as a Tokyo correspondent, Kim aired footage of a Japanese fish market with a comically altered image of former president Roh Moo-hyun 노무현 - a meme from Ilbe 일베, a far-right website notorious for its virulent hatred of liberals and women. SBS News issued an apology at the time, but the surreptitious insertion of Ilbe images in news footage continued for years, forcing the TV station to overhaul its image control protocol.