Acton’s TikTok content was viewed more than 4 million times in two weeks prior to the suspension
Grand Rapids, MI - May 3, 2023 - The Acton Institute announced today that its TikTok account has been suspended for posting content from is documentary feature film, "The Hong Konger: Jimmy Lai's Extraordinary Struggle for Freedom," about Hong Kong and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai.
Promotional videos for “The Hong Konger” had been viewed more than 4 million times on TikTok in just over two weeks, amassing more than 64,000 likes and 27,000 followers on the Institute’s account.
The award-winning documentary feature, which tells the story of Jimmy Lai, the newspaper publisher and pro-democracy and human rights activist in Hong Kong, has struck a chord with audiences around the world, resonating with the universal human desire for freedom. The film has been viewed on-demand more than 1.3 million times since its world-wide online premiere on April 18.
No warning was given by TikTok prior to the account suspension, and no explanation was provided following the suspension. The Institute has reached out to TikTok via its online feedback form for an explanation and to appeal the account suspension. So far, TikTok has not responded.
Rev. Robert A. Sirico, Acton’s president emeritus, executive producer of the film, and a personal friend of Jimmy Lai, commented on the suspension: “TikTok’s suspension of the Acton Institute’s account for telling the truth about Jimmy Lai’s plight is both deplorable and predictable. Yet, truth has a way of interring its undertakers.”
The film takes viewers on a journey through the life of Jimmy Lai, from his humble beginnings as a factory worker to his rise as a successful businessman and advocate for democracy in Hong Kong. Currently, Lai is awaiting trial under Hong Kong’s CCP-imposed so-called National Security Law. The film also sheds light on the ongoing struggle for freedom in Hong Kong, which has been under threat from the Chinese government’s increasing authoritarianism and crackdown on dissent.
The film won “Best Documentary” at the 2022 Anthem Libertarian Film Festival and “Best Feature Documentary: Social Rights Subject” at the 2023 American Filmatic Arts Awards.
The full 73-minute film is now available for viewing on demand at FreeJimmyLai.com.
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ABOUT “THE HONG KONGER”:
THE HONG KONGER: JIMMY LAI’S EXTRAORDINARY STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM is a documentary by the Acton Institute. When Hong Kong’s basic freedoms come under attack, newspaper publisher and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai finds himself in the crosshairs of the state and must choose between defending Hong Kong’s long-standing liberties and his own freedom. The award-winning film debuted globally on April 18, 2023. The film and other information are available at FreeJimmyLai.com.
ABOUT THE ACTON INSTITUTE:
The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1990, the Institute works internationally to “promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” For more information, visit acton.org.