The Chinese Government is cracking down on any television shows that depict LGBT-related themes as a part of new censorship guidelines.
According to The Guardian, the new guidelines state that any television shows or topics that “exaggerate the dark side of society” will be considered illegal and removed from television screens across the country. Futhermore, anything LGBT-related falls under the category of “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content,” and will therefore be banned and removed from the public.
Last week, the Chinese government pulled the popular same-sex drama Addicted (Heroin) from online video streaming websites, since the show violated the new guidelines by depicting two men in a relationship. The censorship caused uproar among the show’s fans in China, and the show is now confined to illegal streaming platforms.
In addition, the new guidelines will ban television dramas that show “abnormal sexual relationships and behaviors, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.” Anything involving smoking, drinking, adultery, sexually suggestive clothing, and even reincarnation will be banned as well.
China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television told television producers it will constantly monitor TV channels to ensure the new rules are being applied.
Homosexuality in China was decriminalized in 1997, and was taken off the official list of mental illnesses in 2001, but it still remains taboo.