Mainland China cracks down on children-based reality shows

爸爸去哪兒第二季海報

Previously releasing a government-issued document putting many restrictions on the content of Mainland Chinese dramas that ban the use of puppy love, LGBT, and other scenes, China’s government has struck again, this time aiming their censorship cannons at reality TV shows featuring children.

In fear that celebrity culture would overpower the influence of the ruling Communist Party, China’s government is cracking down on the appearance of celebrities’ children on reality shows such as the insanely popular “Where Are We Going, Dad“, which follows the interactions between Dads and their adorable kiddies as they embark on bonding activities and missions together.

As a result of the success of shows such as these, which have spurned the appearance of many of the featured children on the show in other television programs, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television have ordered for a cutback on appearances of minors in shows and a reduction of themes or content which may be read as trying to make them into budding child stars.

China’s government news outlet Xinhua News Agency relayed the administration’s orders as saying that “reality shows should pay attention to strengthening protection over minors and endeavour to reduce the participation of minors”, strongly highlighting that shows should not become “venues for displaying fame and wealth”.

So the question is, what will happen to some of my favourite Chinese television show? Hunan TV, the producer of “Where Are We going, Dad” has said they are aware of the government’s orders, but have not yet decided whether or not the show should continue for another season.

Once again, my argument follows on from what was said in previously on the Chinese government’s content bans. Why curb such hugely popular television shows which have been so steadily gaining international publicity for China? It seems that they are intent on taking away every single pleasurable means of entertainment away from the Chinese public. What’s next? A cancellation of “I Am A Singer”?

As an avid watcher of “Where Are We going, Dad”, I honestly see no logic to their actions. Words cannot encapsulate my heartbreak of not being able to see those tiny adorable children displaying looks of innocent wonder on their faces, but I guess I’ll just go back to watching Taiwanese/Korean/Western shows. Again.