China bans 'effeminate' idols and flaunting of wealth in entertainment regulation

The Chinese authority is regulating more aspects of the countries entertainment industry. In a notice issued by the National Radio and Television Administration, the authority will crack down on several areas including effeminate male idols and flaunting wealth. 

The notice said it requires broadcasters to ban "deformed" tastes such as "sissy idols" who do not conform to macho or masculine male stereotypes prevalent in traditional Chinese culture. It also required a ban on flaunting wealth, vulgar influencers and gossips. In the same section "boycotting being overly entertaining", the notice said there should have been more emphasis on traditional Chinese culture, revolution culture, socialist culture that they will help establish a correct beauty standard.

The notice also required broadcasters and online video and audio platforms to captiously select guests and actors or actresses. Political literacy, moral conduct, artistry and comments from the public should be selection criteria.

Meanwhile, broadcasters and online video and audio platforms were prohibited to roll out idol audition programmes, and children of celebrities are banned to join entertainment programmes and reality shows. In the same notice, the authority also highlighted the "chaotic" celebrity fan culture, prohibiting guiding and encouraging fans to shop and become a member, which is deemed as a means to support their idols by spending money.

In total, the notice highlights eight areas that need to be cleaned up:

  •  Resolutely resist actors or actresses who are against the law and wicked;
  •  Resolutely resist only driving traffic and viewership;
  •  Resolutely resist the tendency of pan-entertainment;
  •  Resolutely resist high price remuneration;
  •  Strengthen the management of practitioners in the industry;
  •  Commence professional and authoritative commentary;
  •  Comprehensively exercise the roles and duties of industry organisations;
  •  Effectively perform management responsibilities.

China has been cracking down on the entertainment industry in recent months. In late August, Chinese billionaire actress Zhao Wei’s existence was scrubbed off many social platforms and media platforms in China. Zhao, who was the face of Fendi China in 2020, was also famous for her My Fair Princess Chinese TV drama. She also starred in shows such as Shalin Soccer and Lost in Hong Kong. Netizens were also seen discussing possible reasons her works were removed on platforms such as Weibo. However, Chinese newspaper The Global Times reported that no official reason had been given for the erasure of Zhao’s work from the internet.

In recent times, several Chinese influencers and stars have made headlines as the Chinese government tightens the rules around celebrity culture. Most notably, singer-actor Kris Wu was arrested following rape allegations and his internet presence has been widely deleted. 

According to Reuters, the Chinese government has criticised "idol competition" programmes for reportedly creating an "unhealthy fan culture". This came after celebrities such as pop star Kris Wu and actor Zhang Zhehan, who saw close to 20 brands dropping him after photos of him visiting the Yasukuni Shrine emerged, were embroiled in scandals recently.

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