China bans depictions of gay people on TV in crackdown on 'vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content'

Censors say television shows should not show story lines that 'exaggerate the dark side of society'

Saturday 05 March 2016 13:07 GMT
Pride festival in China, tumblr
Pride festival in China, tumblr (Getty Images)

The Chinese government has banned depictions of gay people on television, as part of a national clampdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”.

Censors said that television shows should not show story lines that “exaggerate the dark side of society,” including gay relationships, adultery and the supernatural.

The report was posted on the website of the China Television Drama Production Industry Association on 31 December but was widely circulated in Chinese state media this week according to Hong Kong Free Press.

“No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on,” according to the news rules.

Many people expressed their discontent toward the new rules:

“What year are we living in, how are we still openly discriminating against homosexuality?” said one unhappy internet surfer.

Another person said, “bestiality [wasn’t mentioned], is it allowed?”

This new rule follows social media uproar after a popular same-sex drama “Addicted Heroin” was pulled from online video streaming websites last week.

The show can now only be viewed on YouTube which is blocked in China.

New regulations also warned against exposing underage viewers to content which could be considered harmful such as “underage love,” smoking, binge drinking, fighting and unusual or extravagant clothing.

Witchcraft, reincarnation and other supernatural beliefs are also not permitted under the new regulations.

“Scenes which expose the methods adopted by detectives and show in detail how they crack cases, thereby assisting criminals in coming up with counter-moves” are also forbidden.

Production companies were asked to actively promote content approved by the regulations.

The shows should “promote the excellent traditional culture of China,” “spread positive energy” and “contribute to the achievement of the Chinese Dream.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in