China has banned some reality talent shows and ordered broadcasters “to promote more masculine representations of men,” in the latest attempt to reshape the culture of the country’s huge entertainment industry that authorities believe is leading young Chinese people astray, The Guardian reported.
“Broadcast and TV institutions must not screen idol development programmes or variety shows and reality shows that feature the children of celebrities,” China’s broadcast regulator, the National Radio and Television Administration said, in new regulations announced on Thursday. The regulator also ordered broadcasters to resist “abnormal aesthetics” such as “sissy” men, “vulgar influencers,” stars’ inflated pay and performers with “lapsed morals”. According to the authorities, the new rules are designed to rectify the supposed problems of artists’ violation of law and morality, and chaos in the “fans community,” and to create “an atmosphere of love for the party and the country, and respect for morality and art”.
Idol development shows have become a huge phenomenon in China in recent years, in part because producers of these programmes have been introducing innovative formats from countries such as South Korea and Britain, and have successfully localized them in the Chinese market. Shows such as “Youth with You” and “Produce 101” have presented the public with the making of boys’ and girls’ groups, transforming trainees – mostly young Chinese people from ordinary backgrounds – into celebrities through fierce competition and rigorous mentorship. But there have also been controversies associated with these popular reality shows and ardent supporters who follow other celebrities, the authorities believe.