2020-09-17 10:00:06

Live performances and televised variety shows are likely to become more sanitized in the coming days.

In an announcement Monday, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism vowed to strengthen regulations on “notable performances” such as rap and electronic music programs, the comedic art of crosstalk, and other talk shows. Relevant departments are now required to regulate such shows’ content and supervise live feeds — including interactions with viewers.

The guideline is aimed at “promoting the prosperity and development of the performance industry,” the ministry said.

Fan bases for talent and talk shows have grown exponentially in recent years. Programs such as “The Rap of China” for polishing raw musical talent and “Rock & Roast” for showcasing stand-up comedians have enjoyed immense popularity.

Yet despite their large followings, some programs — or their colorful participants — haven’t shied away from trouble, irking authorities.

In 2018, certain depictions of hip-hop culture, including tattoos and excessive jewelry, were banned on television and in films after the first season of “The Rap of China.” Authorities further said some lyrics on the show were of “low taste,” and one rapper in particular was admonished for condoning drug use.

Earlier this year, the winner of the second season of “Rock & Roast” made headlines after he was jailed for drug use.

With the new guideline, authorities are hoping producers will stick to shows with themes deemed to be safer and more wholesome, such as talent shows for dancer, acrobatics, or traditional music. Programs are also advised to refrain from focusing on violence or superstition, and local authorities are required to carefully review all historical, religious, and ethnic content.

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Header image: Young people attend the 2015 Midi Music Festival in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, Oct. 1, 2015. People Visual)