A political scientist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who used to work for CCTV said the film might have approval, or it could have been CCTV’s own decision to broadcast it.
“Every media outlet knows there is a ceiling above their head,” Liu Shanying (劉山鷹) said. “Sometimes we will work under the ceiling and avoid touching it. But sometimes we have a few brave ones who want to reach that ceiling and even express their discontent over the censor system.”
“It is very possible that CCTV decided by itself” to broadcast the film, Liu said.
If so, he added, it would have been “due to a gut feeling that China’s film censorship will be loosened or reformed.”