That’s what I thought. Last year, news reports came out of China that there was a planned crackdown on ‘abnormal sexual content’ in dramas, falling under that umbrella would be any LGBT content, as it is considered vulgar and unpatriotic. So when the last week or two the same news rumbled around the internet, I was confused, didn’t we already go through this?
Turns out, last year’s crackdown was just for regular television programs, this newest attack would be against the home of the LGBT drama…the internet.
As I keep a pretty close eye on the LGBT content coming out of Asian countries to add to our ever growing LGBT list, I had been wondering just how so many productions were getting around the rules as, despite the rules, LGBT movies not only didn’t slow down but seemed to be coming out with more frequency. To be completely honest, after watching many of the shows, I thought there had to be some sort of get out of jail free card if the drama or movie in question ended badly with the main couple not together for some terrible reason. You know, like it was okay so long as no one was happy at the end? (It made sense in my head.) The clarification of television vs the internet actually makes more sense, especially if they are looking to actually have any effect on banning the content as most of it was made just for an online audience.
So the fact that the government has realized this and extended the ban is troubling as this means there is no let-up or loosening of their anti-LGBT policies.
Whether this will actually stop the creation of these shows is another question, with no real answer for the moment. The government is putting these rules into effect and are asking that all original content get put through a sensor to make sure that they are appropriate for viewers, making sure that the shows follow what the government deems socially acceptable. Are these rules enforcible? It’s the internet. With the quality (technical, writing, and sometimes even acting) it’s not as though these shows are made to be of super high quality from top production companies. These companies are jumping on the popularity of LGBT content. Will these be the sort of production companies who will follow the straight and narrow (huh. Can’t decide if that pun was intended or not…)? Or will they continue to skirt the law and sneak out content?
If I were a guessing person, I’m going to stick my money on yes.
But what I wonder, the production companies are fluid, and can stick under the radar a bit, but what about the actors? Technically by being in these dramas/movies, are they breaking the law? Or the guidelines? Yes. If a show gets popular enough as they can online, could the government retaliate against the actors themselves? Make an example of them? Isn’t that what’s going on with the people who write the gay online novels? Around the same time of last year’s drama ban, I definitely remember articles about identities of writers being revealed and getting into big trouble.
This though is still just a side note. This is just something that concerns us, the watchers of these dramas or movies online. The real concern, the worry, is the continued push of China’s idea that the LGBT life is something vulgar, something that they need to push down. China has a huge population — that has to be a lot of LGBT people being repressed, not just by these ‘guidelines’, but in their everyday lives.