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China Bans Reality Talent Shows

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China banned reality talent programs Thursday and ordered broadcasters to promote more masculine representations of men, in a wide-ranging crackdown on “immoral” pop culture Beijing believes is leading young people astray.

ChinaTalent shows that put hundreds of aspiring young performers through rigorous boot camps and subject them to public votes have become massively popular in China, sparking criticism over obsessive fans and poor role models. “Broadcast and TV institutions must not screen idol development programs or variety shows and reality shows,” China’s broadcast regulator, the National Radio and Television Administration said, in a raft of new regulations.

The regulator ordered broadcasters to resist “abnormal aesthetics” such as “sissy” men, “vulgar influencers”, stars’ inflated pay, and performers with “lapsed morals”. Faced with falling birth rates, Chinese authorities have tried to instill traditional masculine values in the country’s youth by ramping up gym classes and criticizing male entertainers who model the effeminate looks of Korean pop idols.

Instead, broadcasters were urged to “strongly promote outstanding traditional Chinese culture… and advanced socialist culture.” Popular Chinese blogger Feng Xiaoyi had his account suspended by Douyin — China’s version of TikTok — last week for “promoting unhealthy values” after some users complained about his “sissy” videos.

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Video streaming site iQiyi last week said it would cancel all future idol talent shows that are in development. Authorities began a wide-ranging crackdown on dodgy financial practices and “immoral” conduct in the entertainment sector after numerous scandals implicated some of the nation’s biggest entertainers in recent months.
Read also: Kiddwaya And DJ Cuppy Set To Star In British Reality Highlife Series

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