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Beijing bans ‘effeminate’ and ‘vulgar’ screen content, caps pay for actors

Beijing: China has expanded a crackdown on its entertainment industry, telling broadcasters to bar artists with “incorrect political positions” and effeminate styles from shows, saying a “patriotic atmosphere” needed to be cultivated.

The National Radio and Television Administration said in an online notice that it will strengthen regulation over cultural programmes, cracking down on what it deems unhealthy content as well as stars’ salaries and tax evasion.

New Chinese regulations are targeting celebrity culture and “effeminate” aesthetics.

New Chinese regulations are targeting celebrity culture and “effeminate” aesthetics. Credit:AP

Chinese regulators have been tightening their oversight over a broad swathe of industries ranging from technology to education to strengthen control over society and key sectors of the economy after years of runaway growth. On Monday, they introduced new rules limiting the amount of time children can spend on video games.

The entertainment industry entered their crosshairs after a series of celebrity scandals involving tax evasion and sexual assault. Last week, China’s internet regulator said it was taking action against what it described as a “chaotic” celebrity fan culture.

The regulator said new rules capping pay for actors and guests should be strictly enforced and they should be encouraged to participate in public welfare programmes as well as to assume social responsibilities, said the notice. Tax evasion would be strictly punished.

The selection of actors and guests should be carefully controlled, with political literacy and moral conduct included as criteria.

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The notice also said that what it called “deformed” tastes such as “effeminate” aesthetics in programmes should be ended. Entertainment involving “vulgar” internet celebrities, scandals and flaunting of wealth should be rejected.

Unhealthy fan culture should be cracked down on, and voting segments of programmes strictly controlled, with encouragements for fans to spend money to vote strictly forbidden, said the notice.

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