Chinese culture ministry announces strengthened regulation of talk show and rap reality competition show content

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/17 22:08:22

A man from Beijing performs at a talk show club. Photo: VCG

The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism have announced that supervision of performances such as talk shows and rap reality competition shows will be strengthened to meet people's diverse and multi-level spiritual and cultural needs. The announcement sparked discussion on Chinese social media with voices both for and against the move.

The announcement published on the ministry's official website on Monday, including measures for both promotion and supervision of the industry. 

The announcement said that the government will promote the development of the performance market by supporting cultural events such as music and theater festivals, while authorities will strengthen supervision of some programs such as talk shows.

"Focusing on electronic music and rap programs and strengthen supervision of these shows' content and interaction during performances to prevent the emergence of content such as feudal superstition, obscenities and bloody violence," the announcement said.

Performances in small-size theaters will also fall under the new supervision rules mentioned in the announcement. Language programs including talk shows, cross talks and pioneer dramas are included.

In the wake of the announcement, some netizens noticed that some words of a performer on the latest episode of Chinese reality show Rock and Roll had been dubbed over.

"I am really longing to know what Yang Mengen originally said on the program. He was apparently dubbed over," netizen "woyoujiabin" wrote on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Some netizens drew a connection between the dubbing and the announcement from the ministry and speculated that supervision of content has already begun.

The hashtag "Strengthen the Content Review of Talk Shows, Crosstalk and Other Programs" had been viewed more than 120 million times as of Thursday afternoon on Sina Weibo.

Netizens in favor of the move say supervision is necessary. 

"Shouldn't feudal contents, obscenity and violence be examined and controlled? Now many young people and even teenagers are crazy about these rapping and talk show programs. Negative remarks will influence them," one netizen commented.

Other netizens expressed worry as these programs are still very new and small in number in China. 

"Rap and talk shows are already very developed abroad, but are just starting to develop in China. Too much supervision might limit the brilliant ideas of creators and hinder the further development of this novel culture."

Speaking of solutions to handle unhealthy content, some netizens once again suggested that a classification or rating system for programs be introduced.

"Authorities should research into establishing a classification system as soon as possible to meet the various needs of different age groups, not only for language or music programs but for other cultural works like movies, TV dramas and comics. Don't always use a one-fits-all approach to solve problems," another Sina Weibo user wrote.


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