China criticizes “flawed” politics in present enterprise, excessive pay for actors
BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Reuters) – China on Thursday called on broadcasters to avoid artists with “wrong political positions” and “feminine” styles, saying a patriotic atmosphere needs to be cultivated as part of a broader crackdown on its booming entertainment industry .
China’s communist authorities can censor anything they believe violates core socialist values and already have strict rules on content ranging from video games to films to music.
The recent reins in the entertainment industry stem from a number of celebrity scandals involving tax evasion and sexual assault.
Two government departments, including the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) and an industry association, released new guidelines on Thursday.
The NRTA, a departmental agency, said it would tighten regulation of celebrity salaries and punish tax evaders. It also said it would weed out any content in cultural programs that it deems to be unhealthy.
Last week, China’s Internet regulator said it was taking action against what it calls “chaotic” celebrity fan culture. Continue reading
The selection of actors and guests should be carefully controlled, taking civic education and moral behavior into account as criteria, NRTA said, adding that performers should be encouraged to participate in public welfare programs and be socially responsible.
The announcement went on to say that programs depicting “female” behavior and other “skewed” content should be discontinued, as well as shows revolving around scandals, ostentatious wealth and “vulgar” internet celebrities.
Unhealthy fan culture should be deterred, programs with voting segments should be tightly controlled, and anyone who encourages fans to spend money on voting should be banned, the statement added.
After years of rapid growth in the world’s second largest economy, regulators sought to strengthen control over Chinese society by tightening oversight over a wide range of industries, from technology to education. They called for action to reduce the gaping inequality. Continue reading
REVIEW OF ‘EFFEMINATED’ STARS
In separate notices, also released Thursday by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the China Association of Performing Arts, performers such as live streaming stars should receive regular professional ethics training, while agencies should terminate contracts with performers who “lack moral discipline “.
In addition to criticizing the culture of celebrity worship, authorities and state media have criticized male stars who prefer heavy makeup, carefully styled hair and convey a feminine image, saying Chinese boys should become more masculine.
Some “female” stars are immoral and can damage the values of young people, according to an opinion article in the state-run Guangming Daily on Aug. 27, written by a former official at a military newspaper.
When such stars act as soldiers in the war against the Japanese – a popular setting for Chinese films and television programs – they also make the “righteous” and “heroic” characters appear childish, the play says.
A popular video maker on Douyin, a short video platform, blocked his account in late August after complaining that he was too “female.”
Some comments on the Weibo social media site were more critical of the new broadcaster guidelines.
“Actually, aesthetics should be diverse,” said one with over 20,000 likes. “Isn’t that some kind of discrimination?” said another highly rated comment.
Chinese celebrities have attended government-organized courses to learn about the history of the Communist Party and have been “self-critical” in response to the crackdown over the past two months.
At an event in Beijing in late August, movie stars Zhou Dongyu and Du Jiang read a statement criticizing stars who “exceeded the bottom line” and urged entertainers never to become “slaves to the market” and to society to be responsible. according to a video in local media.
Entertainers should “courageously climb artistic heights under the leadership of the (Communist) Party!” they said to applaud.
Reporting by Gabriel Crossley, Brenda Goh, and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Michael Perry, Kim Coghill, Simon Cameron-Moore and Mark Heinrich
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