China's New Media Regulations Bring Anger, Heartbreak to LGBT Community

[DIGEST: NBC, CNN, Global Times, New York Times, The Independent]

As part of a crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content,” the Chinese government has banned depictions of gay people on television. According to censors, storylines that include gay relationships “exaggerate the dark side of society.”


The regulations were compiled by the China Television Drama Production Industry Association and the China Alliance of Radio, Film and Television late last year. However, the regulations were only widely publicized in Chinese state media this month.

The new rule comes in the wake of the Chinese government’s move to pull a controversial show called Addicted Heroin, about the romance between two high school boys, from video streaming sites in China. The show can only be viewed on YouTube, which is blocked in China. Other shows featuring gay characters have also been pulled recently.

Credit: Source.

The abrupt exit of Addicted Heroin from viewing platforms provoked strong outrage in social media channels. Online discussions hashtagged with “#removalofAddiction” generated over 110 million hits in just two days on a Chinese twitter-like site called Sina Weibo. The writer of the series, Chai Jidan, complained that there was “no reason” for the removal: “It’s a result of the broader context.”

The official Chinese report has generated even more outrage online. “What year are we living in, how are we still openly discriminating against homosexuality?” asked one anonymous internet user.  

Another anonymous commenter stated “How is homosexuality considered abnormal? I cannot understand this.”

Gay relationships are not the only ban under the regulations. The eight-page report also forbids depictions of the supernatural, content “showing or promoting an unhealthy state of marriage,” depictions

of underage love, smoking and binge drinking, and “unusual or extravagant clothing.” “Scenes which expose the methods adopted by detectives and show in detail how they crack cases, thereby assisting criminals in coming up with counter-moves,” are also forbidden. As are historical events that “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.”

“Television programs should have not only attractive actors, but they should also demonstrate value,” said Li Jingsheng, head of the television division at the state media administration. “They should not only be easy on the eyes, but also be nurturing for the heart.”

The government has termed the guidelines as being “self-regulating” and has asked production companies to actively promote approved content. In the future, the government wants them to focus on themes that “promote the excellent traditional culture of China,” “spread positive energy” and “contribute to the achievement of the Chinese Dream.” However, the government’s decision to pull shows that are out of line with the guidelines shows that if self-regulation fails, the government will step in.

Credit: Source.

This recent move is in line with China’s larger campaign for “stricter morality.” Last year, Chinese censors removed 120 songs deemed “harmful” to society. In the last few years, government censors have also pulled shows off the air until depictions of cleavage could be edited or blurred out.

Said Party Secretary Xi Jinping in 2014, “Art and culture will emit the greatest positive energy when the Marxist view of art and culture is firmly established and the people are their focus.” The people, however, disagree.

Win McNamee/Getty Images // CBS Television Distribution

In December, President Donald Trump established the United States Space Force, a sixth branch of the United States Army.

The goal of the force is to protect United States assets in outer space from foreign rivals and is slated to cost around $2 billion in the next five years.

Today, Trump unveiled the official logo for the Space Force, but people think it bears a striking resemblance to another iconic symbol.

Keep reading...
Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images // JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

People were stunned this past July when President Donald Trump tweeted that four Congresswomen of color—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)—should "go back" to where they came from.

He also falsely claimed they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe..."

Three of the Congresswomen were born in the United States. Omar was a refugee from Somalia. All are Americans.

At a campaign rally days later in North Carolina, President Donald Trump mentioned Congresswoman Omar—and got a strong reaction from the crowd.

While bigotry is common at a Trump rally, it became even more blatant when Trump's supporters began chanting "Send her back," echoing the calls from Trump's tweet for them to "go back" to where they came from.

Keep reading...
Fox News

As Democratic House impeachment managers make their case against President Donald Trump, one of his favorite news networks is going to lengths to keep the bevy of evidence against him from reaching their viewers' ears.

At first, Fox News tried scrolling Trump's so-called accomplishments alongside live video of the historic proceedings. Now, the network's latest attempt to distract from the Democrats' arguments is raising eyebrows even higher.

Keep reading...
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images // Alex Wong/Getty Images

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was one of the first witnesses in the House of Representatives' initial impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Vindman testified before the House's select committee on impeachment late last year after hearing Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Keep reading...
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The administration of President Donald Trump relies on its white Evangelical base to keep its support consistently hovering around 40 percent.

In keeping with this, President Donald Trump often invokes anti-abortion values he claims to hold dear. He's falsely claimed that Democrats are determined to rip babies from their mothers' wombs and that parents often discuss with their doctors whether or not to keep the baby...after the baby is born.

These claims are patently false, but they rile up the base.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems to be playing right along in promoting abortion hysteria, if a recent speech is any indication.

Keep reading...
Fox News

After hours of evidence presented by the House Impeachment managers in the Senate trial against President Donald Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) strayed even further into the abyss of fanaticism as he defended the President to reporters.

Graham, a Trump critic turned ally, didn't attempt to refute any of the myriad evidence laid out by Democrats, but instead dismissed the claims that Trump did anything wrong when he withheld congressionally approved aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his political rival.

Keep reading...