Golden Bell Awards nominations snub Taiwan variety shows

Actors, entertainers in an uproar as only three music programmes barely make the cut

Chung Xinling, Christopher Lee

The lone three programmes in the running for best variety show at the upcoming 50th annual Golden Bell Awards barely made the cut and a host of contenders were left out entirely, stirring up resentment among Taiwanese entertainers and actors.

The nominees for Taiwan’s equivalent of the Emmy Awards were announced on August 26 at a media event attended by last year’s Best Lead Actor and Actress winners, Singapore’s own Christopher Lee and Taiwan’s Chung Xinling.

Judges from the variety category of the Golden Bell Awards deemed this year’s entries “lacking in quality, creativity, entertainment and intelligence, with technology being the only front showing improvement,” which upset many local entertainers.

The judges added they had even considered cutting out the entire category, but reluctantly nominated three music programmes after numerous rounds of voting.

Tony Sun, Jacky Wu

Taiwanese actor Tony Sun expressed bewilderment at the Golden Bell judges’ comments and woe for fellow actors. “So televised singing competition series represent creativity, entertainment and intelligence, then?!” he said. “Don’t variety shows shot outdoors have these qualities too? Music programmes and variety shows are innately different, so how can they be compared?”

Tony said that after 20 years in the Taiwan entertainment business, he has witnessed many changes in the industry and doesn’t feel hopeful for its future. “Actors slog their guts out performing and working, and yet they are taken for clowns and mocked, ” he said.

Veteran Taiwanese entertainer William Shen said variety programmes are ultimately about making people laugh, and criticised the Golden Bell Awards judges for having esoteric criteria for what constitutes a winning programme.

Kid, a member of Taiwanese boyband Circus and rumoured to be seeing model Sharon Hsu, is the host of popular variety show Mr. Player. The programme failed to make it to the nominees list, to which the indignant Sharon commented, “Judges, why don’t you try to create your own variety show!”

Actor and host Antony Kuo also commented, “From pre-production to filming to post-production, no one is slacking off at any stage, so this proves we’re not making programmes merely to win awards. If you don’t understand what we do, please respect our craft!”

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