Taiwanese host Matilda Tao incurred the wrath of Chinese netizens when it was reported that she had accidentally missed out on introducing Chinese actress Gong Li, who was a guest and head of the Golden Horse Awards jury this year, at the awards ceremony.
It didn’t help that she was caught in an awkward situation after Gong Li declined Matilda’s invitation to “say a few words” as head jury member, before a prize presentation by Ang Lee. All these happened on the live broadcast and netizens quickly misinterpreted it as a standoff between Matilda and Gong Li.
The consummate host, who has hosted the awards ceremony 20 times, shared that the original rundown she received stated that Gong Li would be “speaking” at the awards ceremony. But she had received a new set of instructions just before the awards ceremony began, saying that Gong Li would not be joining Ang Lee on stage during the prize presentation ceremony and would be seated with her fellow jury members instead.
The 49-year-old added that she had approached Gong Li to discuss what they’d talk about later, but was taken aback when the Chinese actress replied, “I’ve already said enough and I don’t wish to say too much.”
During the live show, Matilda decided to change her questions and ask Gong Li if she would like to greet the audience, but the actress flatly turned down her proposal and said it was not necessary.
During the interview, Matilda rebutted claims that she “bullied” Gong Li and had a minor skirmish with her. “Truth is, when I saw the headline of these news reports, I wondered, ‘What basis do I have to bear a grudge against the nation’s goddess?’” she said.
Matilda stressed that the reports were published even before she had a chance to clarify about the matter and emphasised that the situation was “twisted” out of context. “Not everyone had a face-to-face encounter with Gong Li Jie, to hear that she did not wish to be introduced by herself or say anything else… only I heard it.”
Photos: PBE Media
Matilda Tao faces backlash over Golden Horse Awards mistake
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