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Winter Olympics Ratings Plummet While Tensions With China Rise

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Winter Olympics Ratings Plummet While Tensions With China Rise

By Movieguide® Contributor

The ratings for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are at an all-time low, averaging just 12.8 million viewers. These low numbers aren’t surprising, especially given the tensions between the United States and China. 

“There are a whole range of subliminal factors that are negatives when it comes to an event in China,” said former president of CBS Sports Neal Pilson. “It just adds to the obvious issues, and it leads to the American public being not as interested in the Games this year.”

The United States declined to send official representatives to China for the Games this year, citing the country’s human rights abuses, such as their treatment of the Uyghur people living within China’s borders. Additionally, the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, significantly persecutes Christians living within the country, forcing many believers to practice their faith underground. 

Many people who would normally have watched the Olympics are boycotting because of these human rights violations. 

Movieguide® previously reported:

The United States will stage a diplomatic boycott ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, held in Beijing this year. This boycott is in protest against Chinese human rights abuses, a move that China says they will handle with “firm countermeasures.” 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US athletes will compete as planned and will “have our full support,” but added “we will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games.”

“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that,” Psaki told reporters during a recent press briefing.

“We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights,” she continued. “And we feel strongly in our position and we will continue to take actions to advance human rights in China and beyond.”

American officials, including President Joseph Biden, have criticized Beijing for human rights abuses against the Uyghur group in the northwest Xinjiang province, suppression of democratic protests in Hong Kong, military aggression against the self-ruled island of Taiwan and more. Former President Trump’s administration declared the abuses in northwest China “genocide.”

Furthermore, these games have been plagued by scandals from a teen representing the Russian Olympic Committee testing positive for a banned substance to athletes disqualified for “suit violations” in ski jumping.

 

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