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China to cancel 'effeminate boys' in latest directive on celebrity culture reform

Directive follows wider set of policies aimed at reforming Chinese pop culture

A cosmetics instructor delivers an online lesson to a male student.

A cosmetics instructor delivers an online lesson to a male student. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese authorities have called for “effeminate boys” (娘炮) to be de-platformed in the latest directive aimed at reforming the country’s entertainment sector.

The country’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) issued on Thursday (Aug. 2) the "Directive on Increasing Oversight of Entertainment Programs and their Personnel," banning TV stations and internet platforms from broadcasting "idol talent shows" and demanding all media showing "effeminate boys" be canceled completely.

The notice comes off the back of a number of recent moves by the Chinese government to reign in "fan circles" and other aspects of celebrity culture it deems inappropriate.

The second item of the directive instructs the media to "resolutely oppose the trend-only theory of content" and not to broadcast idol talent shows, variety programs, or reality TV shows involving child celebrities. Programs that feature audience voting must strictly control polling links and voting cannot be facilitated by third-party apps or other channels.

The third item requires broadcasters to adhere to the "correct aesthetic" for programs, strictly control the selection of actors and guests, performance styles, costume makeup, etc., and resolutely put an end to "effeminate boys" and other "abnormal aesthetics."

The fourth item orders the media to "resolutely resist the pan-entertainment tendencies," such as showing off wealth and enjoyment, "gossip privacy," "negative hot spots," vulgar "net celebrities," and "reviewing of ugliness."

The new directive comes after a series of recent moves to counter effeminate males in the media.

On Aug. 24, video app Douyin de-platformed a male Chinese streamer named “Feng Hsiao-yi” (風小逸) after his cutesy videos sparked outrage among netizens who said he was “more of a woman than other women” and that he ought to be reported to authorities.

Updated : 2021-09-26 00:02 GMT+08:00