Censor’s cleavage cuts in Chinese TV costume drama spark calls for rating system

Censor’s cleavage cuts in Chinese TV costume drama spark calls for rating system

Actresses in the period drama “The Empress of China” reveal ample cleavage ……Which are then cut out by censors through close-cropping.

Calls for a rating system for Chinese television dramas have grown after online backlash over censors cutting all cleavage from scenes in a popular TV drama about China’s only female emperor.

The drama, The Empress of China, also known as the Saga of Wu Zetian – renamed “The Saga of Wu’s Breasts” by social media bloggers – was pulled from the schedules of commercial satellite station Hunan TV for “technical reasons” late last month, Xinhua reported.

When it returned a few days later, the show, starring the famous Chinese actress Fan Bingbing in the title role of Wu Zetian – who ruled in the Tang dynasty (618-907) – had been conspicuously edited.

Scenes of female characters, with cleavage showing dressed in period costume, had been cropped out  – leaving only close-ups of their heads.

Mainland media said it showed it was time to introduce a rating system for TV dramas; China also has no rating system covering films released in cinemas, which are reviewed and sometimes re-edited before screening.

Some social media bloggers also argued that the drama had been too sexy for children who were watching the show.

The Global Times insisted that a system of control was necessary. “The reality is that censorship exists in many countries and it is unlikely to be reversed in China,” it wrote.

An editorial on the bjnews.com, the website of The Beijing News, said the lack of any rating system was the reason why the drama had been censored.

Even the slight hint of chest in this scene, featuring famous actress Li Bingbing…… prompted censors to crop it out altogether.Shi Anbin, a media professor of Tsinghua University, told the Nanfang Dailythat without an established standard for rating different content, TV producers had no idea how to produce a drama.

He also argued that audiences could watch an unedited version of programmes on the internet even if a TV version was edited.

Changes to The Empress of China sparked fury among mainland internet users, who argued that censors had gone too far.

An online survey released by the Sina Weibo microblogging service on Monday found that nearly 95 per cent of respondents disapproved of the censorship of The Empress of China.

Some mainland bloggers, who renamed the drama “The Saga of Wu’s Squeezed Breasts”, mocked the decision by censors.

They circulated a series of edited pictures on social media, showing people how to highlight the head and hide the breasts when it comes to other characters.

One of the pictures shows Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting of Mona Lisa – but only with her head. “This is what the well-known painting looks like in the eyes of Chinese censors,” internet users said.

Bosomy scenes like this are a big no-no for China’s censors …… But Chinese netizens mocked the decision by censors to edit the scenes, calling the drama “The Saga of Wu’s Squeezed Breasts”.

The Global Times newspaper noted in an editorial that while the censorship was “largely done out of moral concerns”, the resulting public outcry should serve as a warning for the future.

“While it is powerful, censorship lacks authority,” it said. “In this sense, when using censorship, more considerations should be given to public opinion to garner support and avoid similar incidents.”

China’s broadcasting censors, which examine every drama before it is aired on TV, have issued regulations banning the showing of behaviour including adultery, sexual abuse, nudity, ghosts, murder, rape, suicide, gambling and drug uses – on TV screens.

However, rules governing censorship in China are opaque and reasons are not provided about why cuts are made.

Negative portrayals of contemporary politics are often banned, as are revealing scenes and issues that authorities believe could lead to social unrest.

The strict approval process has been criticised as arbitrary at times, with films and TV series often scuttled at the last moment – and sometimes, as in the case of The Empress of China – even after they have begun airing.

Last month, the premiere of acclaimed director Jiang Wen’s latest film, Gone with the Bullets, was abruptly delayed due to eleventh-hour demands by censors.

Additional reporting Agence France-Presse

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 January, 2015, 2:08pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 January, 2015, 5:45pm#ChinaCensorship  #FanBingBing #TheEmpressofChina  #WuZetian

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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