Gay rights activist sues media watchdog

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2015-9-16 0:08:02

A gay rights activist has filed a lawsuit in a Beijing court against China's media regulator for demanding that video-streaming websites remove his gay relationship-themed documentary.

Popo Fan, a documentary filmmaker and LGBT rights activist, told the Global Times Tuesday that the No.1 Intermediate People's Court in Beijing accepted his case on Monday.

Fan said that his documentary, Mama Rainbow, was removed from video websites, including and, in December last year.

A employee told him that the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) ordered the website to remove his documentary for violating rules, and that it should not be seen online. The employee declined to provide further details.

In February, Fan sent a letter to SAPPRFT, questioning the regulator's decision to order the removal of his documentary from video-streaming websites. In March, the SAPPRFT denied in a reply letter that it has removed his documentary.

"Deleting my documentary has violated my rights. Was it because I am a gay person that my work deserved such treatment? I decided to file a lawsuit to uphold my rights," Fan said.

Wang Zhenyu, Fan's lawyer, told the Global Times that "we have evidence proving the regulator was lying. We are asking the court to require the SAPPRFT to disclose the information about the removal."

Wang said that he hopes this case could be a breakthrough in getting courts to pay more attention to the LGBT community and raise public support for them.

Mama Rainbow features six mothers from all over China, who talk openly and freely about their experiences with their gay and lesbian children.

In September, China approved the screening of a movie called Seek McCartney, co-produced in China and France, starring Chinese singer and actor Han Geng.

The movie, to be shown this winter after a one-year wait, was considered the first on the Chinese mainland on gay relationships. Insiders saw it a big step forward for China's film industry, but questioned whether similar films would be approved.

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