China Bans Depictions Of Same-Sex Couples On Television

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Depictions of same-sex couples and other story lines that “exaggerate the dark side of society” have been banned from Chinese television.

"No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviors, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on," a China Television Drama Production Industry Association document posted to its website states, according to CNN.

The document describes the prohibited content as being “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy.”

The new regulations were dated Dec. 31, 2015, but are only now being widely reported in Chinese state media.

Additional topics that are now prohibited include those that might negatively affect the country’s image, promote lavish lifestyles, undermine national unity, and demonstrate feudalism and superstitions.

Depictions of smoking, drinking, sexually suggestive clothing, and reincarnation are included in the ban, The Guardian reports.

The media attention of the regulations comes after the Chinese government stopped a popular drama, “Addicted,” from being streamed on Chinese websites. The show depicts two gay men in relationships.

"Addicted" is available on YouTube, which is banned in China.

Additional cultural censorship has been occurring in China over the past several years.

In Dec. 2014, TV show “The Empress of China” was taken off the air because its actors showed too much cleavage. It later returned with the breasts blurred out. In Sept. 2015, the “Mama Rainbow” documentary that focused on young gay Chinese was removed from all Chinese websites.

Also in 2015, Chinese censors removed 120 songs that they deemed “harmful” to society from being accessible online.

Sources: CNN, The Guardian, "Addicted" on YouTube / Photo credit: "Addicted" via The Guardian

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