Kelly writes on why people in HK protest over bad TV

Kelly writes on why people in HK protest over bad TV

Published in The Atlantic, Nov 2013:

By Kelly Yang

HONG KONG—Last week, 100,000 Hong Kongers, as they have on many occasions in the past, took to the streets to defend their rights. But this time was different. For one, the protest featured housewives marching beside movie stars, including Andy Lau, something of a Hong Kong version of Brad Pitt. The message of the protest—“Give me back my dream!” might have seemed to have a political tinge, but the item which the protesters wanted back was far more quotidian: television.

Currently, there are only two free local television channels in Hong Kong. There are also two additional pay-per-view channels, giving Hong Kong natives a grand total of four to choose from. For a city of 7 million, one that prides itself on both its free market and vibrant film industry (Hong Kong ranks first in Asia in per capita production in film entertainment) this figure is almost absurdly low. And, correspondingly, the paucity of channels has had a detrimental effect on the quality of shows. Hongkongers often complain that the plot on most television dramas on air is predictable—to an eight year old.

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