‘Un­healthy images’ prompted re-edit­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By SU ZHOU suzhou@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A se­nior of­fi­cial from China’s tele­vi­sion reg­u­la­tor said on Wed­nes­day that “un­healthy images” are the rea­son a TV drama about the coun­try’s only known em­press, Wu Ze­tian, was edited.

“We re­ceived many com­plaints from view­ers after the TV se­ries be­gan air­ing, say­ing there were some un­healthy images for mi­nors, among other prob­lems,” said Tian Jin, deputy di­rec­tor of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Press, Pub­li­ca­tion, Ra­dio, Film and Tele­vi­sion.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion in­ves­ti­gated the TV drama, and the broad­caster and pro­ducer were or­dered to re-edit it be­fore bring­ing it back to TV, ac­cord­ing to Tian.

The of­fi­cial said the re-edited ver­sion was well re­ceived by view­ers, though there were some dis­cus­sion on­line. The drama, also known as

be­gan broad­cast­ing on Dec 21, but was pulled off the air a week later by Hu­nan TV for “tech­ni­cal rea­sons”.

When the 80-episode se­rial re­turned to the screen on the first day of 2015, scenes fea­tur­ing ac­tresses’ low-cut dresses and corseted cleav­ages had been cut and re­placed by close-up shots of their heads.

Zhang Hui,

a

free­lance writer based in Shang­hai, said she can un­der­stand the rea­son but she thinks the gov­ern­ment should have done bet­ter in terms of vet­ting.

“Many friends weren’t in­ter­ested in this TV se­ries at the be­gin­ning, but what the gov­ern­ment has done trig­gered their in­ter­est and now all of them are watch­ing this,” said Zhang.

ChengManli, deputy dean of the School of Jour­nal­ism and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion at Pek­ing Univer­sity, said the ad­min­is­tra­tion should have ex­plained this to the pub­lic ear­lier. “The ex­pla­na­tion looked very ar­bi­trary and sub­jec­tive after such long spec­u­la­tion by the pub­lic,” said Cheng. “Ev­ery­thing needs a le­gal ba­sis. The vet­ting from the gov­ern­ment also needs le­gal support.”

Cheng said the gov­ern­ment needs to have an un­der­stand­able, op­er­a­ble man­age­ment sys­tem in terms of cen­sor­ship.

“You can­not take ac­tion based on ev­ery case, it is not con­vinc­ing,” added Cheng.

Cheng said it is a good op­por­tu­nity for the gov­ern­ment to con­sider in­tro­duc­ing a rat­ing sys­tem for TV and films.

“Rat­ing is not a so­lu­tion to ev­ery­thing, but right now it is a very promis­ing di­rec­tion that we can work on.” Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

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