WHAT’S HAP­PEN­ING, CHINA?

DNA Magazine - - FEATURE -

In 2018, Chi­nese writer, Liu (known as Tianyi on the in­ter­net), was jailed for 10 years for “pro­duc­ing and sell­ing porno­graphic ma­te­ri­als”.

Her novel, Oc­cupy told the story of a love af­fair be­tween a teacher and his male stu­dent and con­tained “graphic de­pic­tions of male ho­mo­sex­ual sex scenes”. Pornog­ra­phy and “dis­sem­i­nat­ing ob­scene ma­te­rial for profit” is il­le­gal in China; the book sold over 7,000 dig­i­tal copies.

Liu’s heavy sen­tence sparked up­roar, with many so­cial me­dia com­men­ta­tors point­ing out that se­ri­ous crimes like rape and man­slaugh­ter carry a lower sen­tence.

While ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is not il­le­gal, it is cul­tur­ally taboo. Chi­nese broad­caster Mango TV edited out the Ir­ish en­try from the 2018 Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test. Ire­land’s en­try, a love song by Ryan O’Shaugh­nessy called To­gether, fea­tured a same-sex male cou­ple danc­ing.

Al­ba­nia’s en­trant, Eu­gent Bush­pepa was also cut from the broad­cast be­cause he has tat­toos, which are banned on Chi­nese tele­vi­sion.

Call Me By Your Name was dropped, with­out ex­pla­na­tion, from a 2018 film fes­ti­val in Bei­jing and, al­though China has no of­fi­cial anti-gay pol­icy, it cen­sors gay con­tent un­der it’s very strict laws against pornog­ra­phy.

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