Article: 10 Things Not Accepted In Chinese Cinematography

China has extremely strict laws and regulations against certain things on-screen in any form. Some of these laws (ban on explicit view content), if broken, can even be punished by death or life imprisonment. Follow up on this list to learn about some of the things banned by Chinese broadcasting regulators.

1. LGBTQ+ Portrayal

Portraying anything relating to the LGBTQ+ community is not that big of a deal in Hollywood. Although it is not criminalised in China, it is also not legally recognised, but such content is deemed as ‘viewer sensitive’ and is inconsistently yet constantly removed. Same-sex-themed movies and dramas are technically banned from being broadcast on TV, and since 2017 it’s been deemed illegal on online sites too.


2. Certain Celebrities

China is known to openly ban celebrities from entering its land if the government feels that the celebrity is not appropriate in any way for the viewers of its country.For example - Justin Bieber is not allowed to set foot in China because the Chinese government has deemed Justin as a ‘badly behaved entertainer’ due to his unpleasant antics. Some Chinese officials were reportedly offended by the artist when he was carried by his bodyguards up the Great Wall.


3. Showcasing Any Form Of Time-Travel

While the time-travel and sci-fic genre are extremely popular and trendy in Hollywood, it is banned on Chinese broadcasts. Back in 2011, broadcasting regulators decided to randomly ban the topic of time travel in all and every form of entertainment. They later stated that the ban was implicated because they didn’t like the idea of people messing with historical events, especially relating to Chinese history.


4. Children Of Celebrities

China has banned the featuring of the children of celebrities on screen.Regulators stated that minors should be allowed to enjoy a normal childhood, away from the spotlight. The ban was imposed after the success of ‘Dad,Where Are We Going’, a popular weekly series, where celebrity father-son duos went on trips around China. This killed one of the most successful Chinese variety shows.


5. Promotion Of Drinking, Smoking, And Other Unhealthy Habits

China has banned the promotion of drinking and smoking, among many other ‘unhealthy habits’ on television in any form. This ban was imposed because of China’s critical issue with alcoholism and smoking. Over 68% of the male population in China are smokers, with almost one million men dying per year due to smoke-related diseases.


6. Movies And Shows That “Exaggerates The Dark Side Of Society”

China has removed and halted all depictions of things that the government has deemed as ‘vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content’. This includes a ban on, one-night stands, underage relationships, extramarital affairs as content that is illegal.


7. ' Sissy Men ’

In September 2021, broadcasters were commanded to “put an end to ‘sissy’ men”. Sissy men being men that, according to the Chinese government, aren’t manly enough. This apparently reflects the concerns of the Chinese officials regarding the influence of sleek and ‘girlish’ looks of some South Korean and Japanese singers and actors. According to the officials, this fails to encourage the young men of its country, to be ‘masculine’ enough.


8. Movies Not Suited For All Kinds Of Age Groups

Any movie that the government considers not suitable for all different age groups may not be permitted to air in China. China has a ‘No Motion Picture Rating System’, so only the officials are allowed to claim whether or not a movie is ‘worth airing’.


9. Certain Foreign Movies

Certain foreign movies have been banned permanently from airing in China. This has many underlying reasons, but the main reason is that the Chinese government has pointed such movies out as ‘controversial’. Movies in this list include, ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End’.


10. Any Content That According To The Government ‘Sullies’ The Name Of Their Country

The Chinese government has put a strict ban on any content that puts the country and its countrymen in a bad light. For example - All Miley Cyrus content was banned after a picture of her and her friends was posted online. The Chinese officials took offense to how Miley was seen curling her eyes in the picture.