From this report (in Chinese) we learned that the State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) is thinking about limiting the number of family dramas involving adultery themes during prime time television hours. Though the exact stipulations have yet to be revealed, it seems that the motive behind doing this is for the children, who might think that having affairs is okay or worse yet, become cynical and lose their faith in love. And that would be sad because as Auden put it, we must love one another or die and just about everyone can agree that dying sucks.
Another thing worth noting is that most netizens and the Chinese media are in support of such policies. In 2004, all the criminal/court case and cops/robbers type shows were moved out of prime time, and even the historical dramas are undergoing scrutiny, probably because they are afraid that people might decide to wear their hair long, carry swords, or reinstate the imperial system. Radio and TV penetration in China stood at 95.81 percent in 2005, which part of the reason why people are so worried about the influence of television.
One writer/blogger wrote in response to this news that despite there not being many shows about corrupt officials on TV that this never stopped or prevented officials from becoming corrupt. He also pointed out that the popularity of such shows has to do with the repression of sex and sexuality in Chinese culture (especially after the banning of polygamy in 1949) and that these TV shows are a form of collective fantasy life. However, it’s not clear that these shows are going to be banned altogether, but they will be restricted in terms of what times they are allowed to be shown, so how “worried” we ought to be is still unclear.
Picture from fun.oa18.com