It looks like the Chinese government’s “General Principle of Television Drama Production Content” is not going to go down well with the Chinese people.
Published in December last year, the comprehensive nine-page document has made its way onto the Internet and details new prohibitions on television content that depict superstitions such as witchcraft and reincarnation.
Also banned is content that promotes promiscuity which challenges the sanctity of marriage or any displays of homosexuality which is regarded as “abnormal sexual relationships or sexual behaviour,” reports South China Morning Post.
Romantic scenes which are too “stimulating” are also to be excluded. The ban even goes as far as to disallow the dramatisation of teenage romance, smoking, alcohol consumption and fighting.
According to Li Jingsheng, chief of television drama under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, all industry experts are expected to abide to the “professional guideline.”
This document leak has answered many questions that the public has had following the government’s decision to censor and remove popular drama series.
Last month, Chinese netizens took to their Weibo accounts to vent their frustrations when thepopular online gay drama Addiction was abruptly yanked off air without any explanation, three episodes before the finale.
This latest development has caused more outrage among the Chinese people — many of which questioned the government’s backwards approach towards social issues.
One Weibo commenter wrote: “How ishomosexuality considered abnormal? I cannot understand this.”
Another predicted: “The people working in radio and television are getting more pedantic! Sooner or later, broadcasting will cease to exist!”
As the younger generation in mainland China turns to the Internet to get their television fix, officials are calling for online programmes to be subjected to the same censorship laws as traditional television.