China yesterday banned reality talent programs and ordered broadcasters to promote more masculine representations of men, in a wide-ranging crackdown on “immoral” pop culture that Beijing believes is leading young people astray.
Talent shows that put hundreds of aspiring young performers through rigorous boot camps and subject them to public votes have become massively popular in China, sparking criticism over obsessive fans and poor role models.
“Broadcast and TV institutions must not screen idol development programs or variety shows and reality shows,” China’s National Radio and Television Administration said in a raft of new regulations.
The regulator ordered broadcasters to resist “vulgar influencers,” inflated financial rewards, and performers with “lapsed morals” and “abnormal aesthetics,” such as “sissy” men.
Faced with falling birthrates, Chinese authorities have tried to instill traditional masculine values in the country’s youth by ramping up gym classes and criticizing male entertainers who model the effeminate looks of South Korean pop idols. Instead, broadcasters were urged to “strongly promote outstanding traditional Chinese culture ... and advanced socialist culture.”
Popular Chinese blogger Feng Xiaoyi last week had his account suspended by Douyin for “promoting unhealthy values,” after some users complained about his “sissy” videos. Video streaming site iQiyi last week said it would cancel all future idol talent shows that are in development.
Chinese authorities began a wide-ranging crackdown on dodgy financial practices and “immoral” conduct in the entertainment sector after numerous scandals implicated some of the nation’s biggest entertainers.
Chinese actress Zheng Shuang (鄭爽) was fined the equivalent of US$46 million for tax evasion last week, while Chinese-Canadian pop star and former idol Kris Wu (吳亦凡) has been detained on rape allegations. At the same time, regulators have vowed to curb the behavior of China’s “chaotic” fandoms, such as what they deem to be irrational celebrity worship.
Beijing TV regulators abruptly took the popular talent show Youth With You 3 off the air in May, after fans resorted to buying and dumping massive quantities of yogurt to vote for their favorite contestants.
Such shows often urge fans to buy sponsored products in order to vote, but the new regulations ban this practice.
PAST TACTICS: In what some see as a return to hardline strategies, the new Afghan rulers hanged the body of an alleged kidnapper from a crane as warning to criminals The Taliban hanged a dead body from a crane parked in a city square in Afghanistan on Saturday in a gruesome display that signaled the hardline movement’s return to some of its brutal tactics of the past. Taliban officials initially brought four bodies to the central square in the western city of Herat, then moved three of them to other parts of the city for public display, said Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the edge of the square. Taliban officials announced that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping earlier on Saturday and were killed by police,
Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reached out to South Korea for a second time in recent days, saying Pyongyang would consider taking part in another inter-Korean summit and declaring an end to the war if Seoul adopts a less hostile policy. “I felt that the atmosphere of the South Korean public desiring to recover the inter-Korean relations from a deadlock and achieve peaceful stability as soon as possible is irresistibly strong,” Kim Yo-jong said in a statement issued by the official Korean Central News Agency. “We, too, have the same desire.” Kim’s statement follows one she
A potential lurch to the left in Germany’s election on Sunday is scaring millionaires into moving assets into Switzerland, bankers and tax lawyers say. If the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), hard-left Linke and environmentalist Greens come to power, the reintroduction of a wealth tax and a tightening of inheritance tax could be on the political agenda. “For the super-rich, this is red hot,” said a German-based tax lawyer with extensive Swiss operations. “Entrepreneurial families are highly alarmed.” The move shows how many rich people still see Switzerland as an attractive place to park wealth, despite its efforts to abolish its image as a
‘SMOKESCREEN’: An agreement to declare an end to the Korean War would be ‘of no help at all’ and used to cover up ‘US hostile policy,’ a North Korean official said The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un yesterday said it was “admirable” of South Korea to propose a formal end to the Korean War, but demanded Seoul first drop its “hostile policies” towards Pyongyang. Kim Yo-jong’s remarks, carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, were in response to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s recent calls for declaring an official end to the 1950-1953 conflict that ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving the two sides technically at war for more than half a century. In a speech at the UN General Assembly earlier this week, Moon proposed