Tuned In

Also, "Beijing" Actually a Studio Lot in Burbank

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Following on the heels of that Olympics fireworks fiasco comes a New York Times report that the nine-year-old girl who sang a patriotic ballad in the opening ceremonies, while floating suspended from wires, was performing to another girl’s vocals. The kicker: the Olympic stagers apparently went with the switch because the seven-year-old who sang was not cute enough[!].

One thing that strikes me with this story, as with the digital fireworks, is that the Chinese producers themselves sound fairly blase and matter-of-fact about the switchery, where I suspect Americans would be more defensive:

“The reason was for the national interest,” explained Chen Qigang, general music designer of the opening ceremony, who revealed the deception during a Sunday radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression.”

Though not all Qigang’s countrymen agreed. One online comment that the government managed not to scrub complained, “They think Yang Peiyi’s smile is not cute enough? What we need is truth, not some fake loveliness! I hope the kids will not be hurt. This is not their fault.”