Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

The EOC expresses concern over derogatory portrayal of SARS patients in a local movie


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) expressed concern over the screening of a Hong Kong movie on last Saturday (26 October 2013), which featured SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) patients as “Zombies” and appealing to negative emotions against them.

Dr. York CHOW Yat-ngok, the Chairperson of the EOC, said, “I find it totally absurd to depict SARS patients as zombies and associate them with violence and horror. The movie is extremely disrespectful to ex-SARS patients and those who helped fight the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003. It is also offensive and hurtful to the survivors and their family members.”

While respecting freedom of expression and artistic expression, the EOC condemns the use of any derogatory and denigrating image to describe a group or individuals on account of their disability. In the Commission’s opinion, the negative portrayal regarding SARS-infected persons in the movie is offensive and distasteful,” Dr. CHOW emphasized.

The Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO) protects people with a disability against discrimination, harassment and vilification on the ground of their disability.

The EOC has approached the concerned film director informing him of the possible liabilities. The EOC has also written to the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration to urge them to take a more sensitive approach in dealing with movies that touch on topics of great public concern.

For media enquiries, please contact Ms. Mariana LAW at 2106-2226.

Equal Opportunities Commission
28 October 2013