Chinese reality show sparks controversy for blurring Christmas elements in latest episode
Published: Dec 25, 2020 01:49 AM

Photo: Screenshot of Mango TV

Chinese hit reality show Who's the Murderer, a detective series produced by Chinese streaming platform Mango TV, has sparked controversy on China's social media after pixilating all elements relating to Christmas in its latest episode released online on Thursday, Christmas eve.

Who's the Murderer features a cast of celebrities who play different roles are asked to find evidence at a "crime scene" to figure out which is the real murderer.

The new episode is set in a hotel that is decorated with Christmas ornaments. All on-screen Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees and even hats that guests wore have been blurred.

Behind the pixels, the unmistakable shape of a Christmas tree is still faintly visible. In some scenes, most part of the screen is blurred and only the guests in the show are visible.

Mango TV hasn't explained its reasoning. Some netizens suggest it was out of fear of being criticized for showing Western festivals and worshiping foreign things. 

Some netizens said the move is "too over the top," arguing that it is unnecessary to downplay Western festivals in this way, and reflects a lack of confidence in Chinese culture.   

Other netizens suggested the producers were purposely trying to stir controversy to attract more eyeballs.

"Although Christmas isn't a Chinese festival, most people celebrate it purely to create an atmosphere and for fun. It feels weird to pixilate those elements," a Sina Weibo user commented.

"It affects the viewing experience so much. Is it just a scheme by the Mongo to attract internet traffic?" another said.

Many people in China celebrate Christmas eve with good wishes on Pingan ye, meaning "peaceful night." Apples are given to friends and families on Christmas eve as the first character in Pingan ye, sounds like the Chinese word for apple.

After a year plagued by the COVID-19 epidemic, some Chinese netizens shared good wishes on Christmas eve this year, hoping the pandemic will end and for a peaceful and safe life in the coming new year.

Global Times