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New entertainment restrictions (3)

(Global Times)

10:23, September 14, 2011

Deeper meanings

"I don't understand why Happy Camp and Day Day Up were restricted since I did not see any unhealthy content in the two programs. On the contrary, these programs help me feel relaxed after work because of their humorous styles," said Nanjing resident Jiang Honghong, 27, while expressing her frustrations to the Global Times concerning the SARFT restrictions.

However, Wang Yaya, 27, a Yangzhou resident in Jiangsu Province, voiced her support regarding the SARFT regulations. "These entertainment programs are always noisy and sometimes I can see they show the worship of money during the performances, which, I believe, might have negative effects on youngsters," she told the Global Times, "so, I think the restriction was to keep ‘poor taste and vulgar content' away from youngsters."

"We did not receive any restrictions from SARFT because we seldom invite overseas artists," an anonymous assistant director of an entertainment program at a Beijing-based television station told the Global Times, who also added the restriction on Hunan TV's entertainment programs might be helpful for other television stations to improve their competitiveness.

According to Yin Hong, professor and director of the Center for Film and Television Studies at Tsinghua University, the deeper reason behind the SARFT restrictions on Hunan TV's entertainment programs was because of the extreme competition that exists among other entertainment programs throughout the nation.

"In China, a popular entertainment program will usually be duplicated by TV stations nationwide in order to gain higher audience ratings, and therefore vicious competition arises. In this situation, the government has to use administrative methods to control the numbers of such programs and in most cases, it will choose to restrict the most popular or the most typical ones, and therefore, programs on Hunan TV are in danger," Yin told the Global Times.

But Yin expressed his doubts regarding the effectiveness of the restrictions. He said because the extreme competitiveness still remains, which means if another popular entertainment program appears, then it will more than likely be copied.

"I suggest SARFT pay more attention to encouraging entertainment programs to show innovativeness rather than restrict their emergence."

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