Chinese media regulators have banned reality tv shows from featuring children – particularly those of celebrities.
China’s media watchdog, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) says keeping minors out of the spotlight will allow them to enjoy a normal childhood, avoiding the potential perils of overnight fame which the state media believes is damaging to children’s psychological development.
Last month, SAPPRFT, introduced rules banning television shows from depicting “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content,” including smoking, drinking, adultery, sexual freedom, homosexuality, perversion and reincarnation.
Following this ban, China’s top-rated reality show “Where Are We Going, Dad?” has immediately been cancelled. Hunan TV has canceled the fourth season of its extraordinarily lucrative show that was originally scheduled to make them a lot of money this summer.
Based off a Korean reality show of the same name, the series which pulls in 75 million viewers per episode, first debuted on October 11, 2013. It features five celebrities traveling to rural locations with their children. They have also canceled newer spin-offs like “Dad is Back” and “My Mom is a Superwoman” from broadcasting on television, saying they will be thrown up online.
In July 2015, SAPPRFT announced plans to make reality programming more real by declaring that shows blend in “socialist core values” and not become “a place to show off wealth and rely on celebrities.” Instead, reality tv shows should pay more attention to the lives of ordinary people and limit the participation of minors.
A month before that they announced rules to limit broadcasters to one reality show per year with content “close to the masses, with no exaggeration and no mixing the spurious with the genuine.” Just like reality programming was meant to be.
Also in September, China announced a new law stipulating that children under the age of 10 must not be used in advertisements.
This new has been received with mixed reactions from the Chinese. While some have applauded the move saying it is good for children, others aren’t too pleased with the change alleging that SAPPRFT does not listen to public opinion.