China takes high school soap from Internet

February 24, 2016 - The Chinese censor agency (SAPPRFT) has taken the soap series “Addicted” of the Internet. The series is about a gay high school couple. The strange thing is that the series was already running for 12 of the 15 episodes. So one wonders why the Chinese censors belatedly decided to takes this series of the Internet now. Chinese followers of the series are furious. The 3 last episodes are now viewable on YouTube, but YouTube is blocked in China.”

Unfounded arguments

According to local media, the censors removed the soap series because it depicts “abnormal sexual behavior” and “romance between minors.” We cannot be sure if these are the real reasons. But both are nonsense. In China, homosexual orientation is not criminalized and it was taken off the list of mental diseases in 2001.
Indeed, the series is about a romance. But the age of consent in China is 14 for all sexual orientations. The couple in the soap is clearly older than 14. It adds to the ambiguity of the censors that a recent campaign “Love is not a Choice” is not blocked. This campaign runs through social media. It features short adds of gay couples in their homes. The pay-off is: “Love is not a choice. We did not choose to be homosexual. We just are. Happily, the world is big enough for all of us.”

Ten million views in 24 hours

“Addicted” started in the end of January, during the Chinese New Year holiday. It quickly became very popular among younger female fans. The first episode was viewed 10 million times in the first 24 hours. In an online poll by the Chengdu Committee for the Well-being of Youth and Teenagers, more than 93% of 20,000 respondents disapproved of the soaps removal of the Internet.
It may be this popularity has upset the censors. When visibility of sexual diversity remains limited, the censors do not seem to have so much problems with it. It has shown before that Chinese censors view high visibility of defiance from traditional or/and communist social norms as a threat towards the state policy of “harmony” and social stability. The LGBT movement is trying to make clear that “harmony” can only truly be reached when “diversity within harmony” is accepted.

Ongoing struggle

The removal of “Addicted” is just another episode in a continuing soap of publishing films on sexual diversity on the Internet and organizing semi-clandestine LGBT film festivals. It is expected this soap will continue. GALE is discussing with local activists if formal letters or other pressure will help. The writer/producer of “Addiction” Chaijidan (pseudonym) stated filming a second season would “not be impacted” by the ban.

Watch the trailer for Addicted
Source: Pink News