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China has issued a ban on “sissy” men appearing in any media in the country as part of a crackdown on “abnormal esthetics.”
The country’s National Radio and Television Administration is seeking to limit depictions of “sissy idols” and “effeminate men,” Variety reports.
The new edict, sent to China’s broadcasters, is part of the Communist Party of China’s (CCP) efforts to limit celebrity culture and its resulting influence on the country’s younger generations.
Specifically, censors accused the entertainment industry of “severely polluting the social atmosphere” and demanded they instead highlight “traditional Chinese culture, revolution culture and socialist culture.”
The CCP said it would create a “correct beauty standard” for broadcasters to follow and ordered them to avoid popular “idol audition shows” and to sideline those who have gone against “public order and morals.”
China’s new broadcast standards are part of President Xi Jinping’s “national rejuvenation” program, with the Communist Party tightening its control over culture, education, business, and religion, ABC News reports.
China’s pop stars, emulating the style of male singers and actors from Japan and Korea, have reportedly come under scrutiny for not encouraging men in the country to be more masculine.
The broadcast ban used a derogatory term for effeminate men — “niang pao,” which translates to “girlie guns” — and stated that broadcasters should “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics.”
Homosexuality isn’t illegal in China, but neither is it widely accepted. China’s censors regularly edit or ban LGBTQ content, including cutting depictions of Freddie Mercury’s gay relationships in 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Gay drama Call Me By Your Name was also suddenly pulled from the Beijing International Film Festival, with no reason given — although blame was placed on the CCP’s moves to gain tighter control over media and entertainment.
Earlier this year, LGBTQ people in China criticized authorities after dozens of LGBTQ accounts were removed from social media platform WeChat.
A number of student-ran accounts tied to LGBTQ groups on university campuses were blocked and then deleted from the platform without warning, with attempts to visit them producing a message that they had “violated” China’s internet regulations.
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