TAIPEI - The 50th TV Golden Bell Award avoided embarrassment yesterday as some of the big names in the TV industry called off a boycott they had threatened over what they called the jury's disrespect.
Jacky Wu, who had vowed to boycott this year's Golden Bell unless the jury apologised, showed up for the ceremony along with Chang Fei, who at one point also said he would be absent.
Several variety show hosts and producers, including Wu, made sarcastic references to the jury but managed to do so lightheartedly.
When announcing the nominations for the Golden Bell in August, the jury said they had had difficulty coming up with a shortlist for the best variety show from among the entries, all of which lacked creativity, depth and quality.
The jury said they at first did not want to nominate any productions for the category, but subsequently nominated three - all music and pop song shows - instead of the usual five.
The comments infuriated popular variety show host Wu and other big names. Wu's show was not on the shortlist, but he was nominated for the best host in a variety programme award.
While reversing his earlier vow to boycott the ceremony, Wu said that he would use his time on stage to "give the jury an earful," making his scheduled introductory speech ahead of the announcement of the winners of the best variety show and show host awards a highly anticipated part of the ceremony.
Wu Shows Control in Speech
In the end, the pre-ceremony row was largely put aside for an evening that marked the 50th anniversary of an important event for all in the local TV and radio broadcast industries. Wu gave a speech decrying the decline of quality in Taiwanese TV shows due to a lack of funding for local productions and made several references to the jury's comments in August but stopped short of going all out in his criticism.
"They are not my friends," Wu said of members of the jury, but ended the sentence with: "They are my family." He delivered strong words -"You can humiliate me, but you can't humiliate Taiwan's entertainers" - several times, but all with a smile, adding humour to his criticism of the jury.
The best variety show and show host awards went to "Global Chinese Music" and its host Mickey Huang.
"Weather Boy", a Taiwanese-made animated series that seeks to raise awareness of climate change, grabbed the Golden Bell Award for best animated programme.
"'Weather Boy' is about the global climate change and extreme weather caused by human activities after the Industrial Revolution," director Chiu Li-wei said during his acceptance speech.
"We hope to let the next generation know what kind of world they will be facing in the future,"Chiu said.
He thanked his family, wife, animation team, colleagues and students at the Tainan National University of the Arts, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, which funded the animated TV show.
"Weather Boy" is about Jamie, an ordinary schoolboy in Taiwan who joins his meteorologist father and other observatory members in a climate project in the mountains of Switzerland, where a climate machine takes the group through time to catch a glimpse of Earth's bleak future.