Broadcasters in China have reportedly scrubbed Western clothing brands’ logos from their shows as the retailers caught flak for their concerns about forced labor in the Xinjiang region.
Chinese TV networks are scrambling to blur out the logos of Nike, Adidas and other companies facing public backlash for their reluctance to use cotton from Xinjiang, where China has been accused of oppressing Uyghur Muslims, reports say.
The censorship campaign has led to delays in some broadcasts as editors rushed to obscure logos that are frequently worn on popular reality shows, according to the BBC.
Contestants on a recent episode of the singing competition show “Youth With You” were decked out in Adidas track pants, T-shirts and shell-toed sneakers — all of which had the brand’s iconic three-stripe logo blurred out, Insider reported.
The production company behind the show said on March 25 that an episode would be delayed — and two days later viewers discovered that more than 50 people’s shirts had been blurred, the BBC says.
Censors blurred the Nike swoosh on a pair of Air Jordan shoes that Chinese actress Zhang Lanxin wore on a reality program called “Listen to Me,” according to Insider.
Sneakers were also blurred out on the variety show “Sisters Who Make Waves” so that the singers and actors on screen looked like they were “floating on clouds,” the BBC reported.
Nike and Adidas are just two Western retailers that have boycott threats in China over past statements they made emphasizing that they don’t source cotton from Xinjiang.
Chinese Communist Party activists have also targeted Swedish giant H&M, which tried to quell the criticism last week with a conciliatory statement saying it is “dedicated to regaining the trust and confidence” of Chinese consumers.
British luxury brand Burberry has also reportedly been drawn into the fray given that it’s a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, which suspended its approval of Xinjiang cotton last year.
At the center of the blowup are allegations that forced labor takes place in Xinjiang, where Beijing has been accused of running a brutal crackdown on the Uyghur Muslim minority group. China has denied the allegations.