SBS faced backlash after intentionally deleting the word “ladies” from Michelle Yeoh’s acceptance speech.
On March 12th (local time), Everything, Everywhere All at Once star Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian actress to win the Best Actress award at the Oscars held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, LA.
In her acceptance speech, she said, “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof to dream big and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime. Never give up.” Her message was directed towards young children who may feel limited by their appearance or background and towards women who may feel that they are too old to pursue their dreams.
The controversy sparked criticism from viewers and online communities, with many accusing SBS of intentionally removing the word “ladies” to avoid any potential backlash or controversy. Some viewers also pointed out that the decision to edit Yeoh’s speech was particularly problematic given the historic nature of her win as the first Asian woman to win the Best Actress award at the Oscars. The other two networks, MBC and KBS, translated with the word “ladies” in the subtitles.
In response to the backlash, SBS responded, “We thought ‘don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past your prime’ is applicable to all people, not just ladies, so we deleted the word.”