LGBT filmgoers launch boycott of Chinese romance movie

By Kou Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-18 1:18:01

A Chinese romance movie released on Valentine's Day is being boycotted by members of the country's LGBT community, as they say the film's trailer misled the public to believe that it contains a story line related to a lesbian relationship.

The trailer for Run for Love shows two women chained to a bed and hugging each other in a sexual way, but the movie turned out to be an anthology of romances between straight lovers, upsetting many lesbian viewers who said they were drawn to theaters by a trailer that they believe constitutes fraud.

A post about the boycott of the movie on social media platform Sina Weibo has been trending under the hashtag "lesbians boycott Run for Love" and has garnered more than 1.5 million views since it was posted Monday.

"The publicity materials from the producer are quite misleading, since no romance happened between the two women at all. The film company has edited the clips to fool us LGBT people, which is unacceptable," Li Maizi (pseudonym), a Beijing-based LGBT rights activist and initiator of the boycott, told the Global Times.

"Me and another 17 lesbian friends went to the movie theater hoping to see some LGBT romance, but the whole movie has nothing to do with that, leaving us feeling humiliated and deceived. It's understandable that some stunts will be used for the movie's promotion, but they should not hurt our feelings," a Beijing lesbian who asked for anonymity told the Global Times.

The producers of the film could not be reached for comment as of press time on Wednesday.

"It's quite hard for us to enjoy a domestic romance movie involving gay people, as Chinese authorities are conservative on this issue," Li said.

According to Chinese media regulations issued in 2008, content related to homosexuality was considered pornographic and vulgar. The provision was abolished in 2010.

Some LGBT-themed films such as Lan Yu - which features full-frontal male nudity by popular Chinese actors - have been banned from Chinese theaters, though Lan Yu is now available on video streaming websites in China.

"A good movie can help us build self-identification, as well as resolve public misunderstandings of our community. We hope more gay movies will be released in the future," Li said.

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