Coconuts: Venus De Milo, Scarlett Johannson Get Cropped After Chinese Cleavage BanPosted: January 5, 2015
China’s online community has a new meme: The chaste, and unexplainable, close-up
Lilian Lin reports:
“The Empress of China,” a popular Chinese costume drama, returned to television late last week just days after its abrupt disappearance.
“People care less about the cleavage. They are more concerned about the group of cultural gangsters that’s managing approvals.”
— Ren Zhiqiang, a Chinese property mogul and prominent online commentator
Rumors had swirled about why it was yanked from the air, and the edited shows that reappeared appeared to confirm them: Images of the actresses had been tightened to eliminate their low-cut necklines.
The anti-cleavage campaign marks the latest step in China’s tightening hold on the media. It has put limits on dating and talent shows and will more closely scrutinize foreign shows streamed online. The push – which also includes other media such as movies and the Internet — comes as Beijing calls for more positive and moral content.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, which is in charge of managing what the country watches on TV, didn’t respond to request for comments. Zhejiang Talent Film & TV Co. which produces “The Empress of China,” didn’t respond to requests for comment on Monday. People close to the company said it declined to publicly talk about this issue for fear that the show would be pulled for good. In December it said it pulled the show for technical reasons.
“Empress,” also called “The Saga of Wu Meiniang,” is about the life of a famous Tang Dynasty empress also known as Wu Zetian and played by actress Fan Bingbing. The Tang Dynasty is considered one of the most prosperous periods in China’s history, and also one of its less conservative.
The move was greeted with scorn online. “People care less about the cleavage,” said Ren Zhiqiang, a Chinese property mogul and prominent online commentator on his Weibo account. “They are more concerned about the group of cultural gangsters that’s managing approvals.”
Others pointed out that the edited images often didn’t make sense. “I collapsed when I saw the scene in which the emperor is leaning on Meiniang,” said another user, about a moment when one female character cradles the emperor to her breast. “Even [the emperor’s] face was cut out.”
Still others made light of the move with a series of their own close-ups to crop out famous body parts from classics of the world’s art. Microbloggers circulated images of celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson and Leonardo di Caprio photoshopped to reveal only their heads…(read more)
- Pulled TV drama replays after removing revealing images (wantchinatimes.com)
- Furious viewers complain that censors have removed all the cleavage from Chinese TV show that was temporarily taken off air after women appeared in low-cut dresses (dailymail.co.uk)
- Cleavage removed from ‘Empress of China’ (irishtimes.com)
- Chinese Condemn ‘Cleavage’ Censorship; 95% Internet Users Against Move, Says Survey (ibtimes.co.in)
- Empress of China TV series trailer (telegraph.co.uk)
- Chinese censors cut cleavage from historical drama (smh.com.au)
- ‘The Empress of China’ Temporarily Halts Broadcast (chinatopix.com)