China’s ongoing crackdown on the country’s entertainment industry escalated Thursday after the state media regulator called for a boycott of groups of “sissy” boys and sissy men on television, the ending reality shows and banning vulgar social media influencers among a number of other measures.
The National Radio and Television Administration, China’s broadcasting regulator, has released an eight-point regulatory plan for the entertainment industry that calls for a wholesale cleanup of the industry, both in front and behind the camera, as Beijing continues to reshape cultural life.
Among the key points that were published in the South China Morning Post, the media regulator says media companies should boycott “immoral” and “overly entertaining” stars as well as “sissy idols” who go against “correct beauty standards.”
“Sissy idols” is a direct reference to the boy groups which enjoy enormous popularity in China. Acts such as TFBoys, Uniq, Super Junior-M and Exo-M have faced long-standing criticism for wearing makeup and have focused on high fashion as opposed to what the state sees as interests. traditional male. The new regulations have now codified the existing criticisms.
The regulator also calls for a boycott of stars who display their wealth online or on social networks, a ban on people who exchange gossip on entertainment as well as “vulgar” influencers on social networks.
Perhaps the most commercially problematic regulation for media companies is that “idol selection shows cannot be broadcast, as well as shows featuring the children of celebrities,” which would include phenomenally popular talent reality shows, known locally as ‘idol survival shows’, such as as Idol producer, Young with you and Produce 101 China.
In addition to garnering tens of millions of viewers, these idol survival shows regularly “break the internet” in China, with billions of clips, messages and content posted to social media when they air.
In addition to banning idols and on-screen talent shows it deems unacceptable, the regulator is looking for professional entertainment industry commentators to call out the stars and “insist on correct political guidance and values, criticize false, ugly and perverse values ”.
Other regulations include banning excessively high payments, encouraging celebrities to do charity, and additional penalties for bogus contracts and tax evasion.
It is still too early to know the business ramifications of the regulation, but as with the government’s scrutiny of the tech and gaming sectors, the bottom line of media companies is sure to be affected and hundreds of billions are in danger. Game. Estimate from global accounting firm PwC that “the total turnover of China’s entertainment and media industry in 2021 will be around 358.6 billion US dollars and will reach about 436.8 billion US dollars by 2025”.
Beijing’s purge of the entertainment industry has escalated in recent months following a number of celebrity-led scandals. In August, Canadian Canadian rapper Kris Wu, arguably one of the country’s most famous and ubiquitous artists until recently, was arrested on suspicion of rape following a charge that the singer allegedly had sex with a 17-year-old while she was drunk and lured the young women into sex.
Actress Zheng Shuang was recently fined $ 46 million for tax evasion, and actor Zhang Zhehan was banned and wiped from the internet after photos of him surfaced at the controversial Japanese shrine of Yasukuni.
Most notably, billionaire actress Zhao Wei was brutally removed from the Internet in China. All mentions of Zhao on Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo have been removed, her name removed from the credits of movies and TV shows, and all content featuring her – including movies, la television, talk show appearances and more – has been removed from major streaming. sites like Tencent Video and iQiyi.
All discussion of Zhao on social media has also been censored. No official explanation for Zhao’s blacklist was given and last week the star denied having fled to France.
The eight-point plan of the National Radio and Television Administration, as published in the SCMP:
1. Boycott illegal or immoral personnel. When selecting artists and guests, radio, television and internet platforms should not employ people who have an incorrect political position, violate laws and regulations, or speak or behave against public order. and morality
2. Boycott “traffic only” standards. Idol selection shows cannot be aired, as well as shows featuring the children of celebrities. Shows must strictly control voting, cannot entice and encourage fans to buy or purchase membership in order to vote for their idols.
3. Boycott an overly entertaining trend, promote traditional culture, set correct beauty standards, boycott “sissy idols”, boycott intimidating riches, gossip or vulgar Internet celebrities.
4. Boycott the high wages in the entertainment industry. Strictly regulate guest payments, encourage celebrities to participate in charity shows, punish bogus contracts and tax evasion.
5. Regulate showbiz staff. Enforce the licenses of television hosts, ensure professional and moral training. Performing artists should not use their profession and notoriety to profit from it.
6. Promote professional commentary in the entertainment industry, insist on correct political orientation and values, criticize false, ugly and perverse values.
7. Entertainment associations should provide more training and establish industry regulatory mechanisms, as well as criticize bad examples.
8. Regulators must be more responsible, listen to people and address their concerns, fill the public space with positive and mainstream broadcasts.