On Thursday (2 September), in a bid to promote “revolutionary culture”, among a slew of other measures, the Chinese communist government banned effeminate men on TV.
The broadcasters were directed by the government to show only masculine men on television as part of a campaign to tighten control over business and society and enforce official morality for “national rejuvenation” — a goal set by President Xi Jinping.
Using an insulting slang term for effeminate men — “niang pao,” or “girlie guns”, the National Radio and TV Administration said that the broadcasters must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal aesthetics”, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Chinese government thinks popstars, influenced by the sleek, fashionable look of some South Korean and Japanese singers and actors, are failing to encourage China's young men to be masculine enough.
Jinping is continuing with tighter Communist Party control of business, education, culture and religion. Companies and the public are reportedly under increasing pressure to align with Jinping's vision for powerful China.
As a part of the campaign, the communist party has also reduced children's access to online games and is trying to discourage unhealthy attention to celebrities. New rules limit anyone under 18 to three hours per week of online games and prohibit gaming on school days.
The regulator said broadcasters should avoid promoting “vulgar internet celebrities” and admiration of wealth and celebrity. Instead, programs should “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture."
The communist government is also tightening control over the internet companies.
It has launched anti-monopoly, data security and other enforcement actions. Companies like social media provider Tencent Holding and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group are on target as the ruling party worries they are too big and independent.
The communist government also requires the gaming companies to submit new titles for government approval before they could be released. They have been directed to add nationalistic themes.
The party is also tightening control over celebrities. It ordered the broadcasters to avoid performers who “violate public order” or have “lost morality”. Programs about the children of celebrities are also banned. The broadcasters have been ordered to limit pay for performers and to avoid contract terms that might help them evade taxes.
Actress Zheng Shuang was fined 299 million yuan ($46 million) last week on tax evasion charges in a warning to celebrities to be positive role models.
In response, the microblogging platform Weibo suspended thousands of accounts for fan clubs and entertainment news. Reportedly, popular actress Zhao Wei, has disappeared from streaming platforms, and her name has been removed from credits of movies and TV programs without explanation.
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