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Names and faces

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | April 27, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.

• News of Chloe Zhao's Oscars win appears to be censored within China, where the director has fallen victim to a wave of nationalism and attacks accusing her of betraying the country where she was born. At the 2021 Academy Awards on Sunday, Zhao became the first woman of color and the second woman ever to win for directing for "Nomadland," portraying workers in the American West. Zhao, 39, who was born in Beijing but moved to Britain and the United States to study, is also the first Chinese woman to have won the award. Yet in China, where accolades for ethnically Chinese public figures are often celebrated, comment and articles about Zhao were swiftly deleted Monday, while searches for her name or the Oscars turned up few results, with neither of two major state-owned outlets reporting her win. "Why is Weibo blocking Chloe Zhao? What happened? All related Weibo posts have been censored," one user wrote on the platform. Others noted that Zhao's Oscars win did not appear among the most-searched topics, a list that is often manipulated by the platform. Also, for the first time since 2003, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV did not air the Academy Awards, with outlets receiving instructions to "play down discussions" of Sunday's ceremony. Some have attributed the boycott to the nomination of the documentary "Do Not Split" by Anders Hammer, which follows the 2019 Hong Kong protests, as well as controversy surrounding Zhao. After internet users found a 2013 interview with Filmmaker magazine in which Zhao described China as a country where there were "lies everywhere," praise-filled articles were removed. "Nomadland" did not appear in Chinese theaters Friday as scheduled.

• A pair of prototype Nikes worn by Kanye West during his performances of "Hey Mama" and "Stronger" at the Grammy Awards in 2008 has shattered the record price for a pair of sneakers. Sotheby's announced Monday that West's so-called "Grammy Worn" Nike Air Yeezy 1s fetched $1.8 million in a private sale. They were acquired by RARES, a sneaker investment marketplace. The sale marks the highest publicly recorded price for a sneaker sale and the first pair to top $1 million. Sotheby's brokered the private sale. The size 12 shoes designed by West and Mark Smith are made of soft black leather with perforated detailing throughout the upper, and the heel overlay is branded with a tonal Swoosh. The design features the iconic Yeezy forefoot strap and signature "Y" medallion lacelocks in bright pink. The price is nearly triple the auction record for sneakers set in 2020 at Christie's for $615,000. That was a pair of '85 Jordan 1s that the basketball superstar wore when he famously shattered the backboard during a pre-season game in Italy.

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