Censors have taken down a viral internet comedy about a playboy who travels back in time, finds himself in a woman’s body and falls in love with a man.
Go Princess Go became a surprise hit after it premiered on LeTV in December, earning more the streaming platform more than 50,000 paid subscribers, 2.4 billion views and $1.5 million in profit according to Quartz.
In the series, the protagonist travels back to an ancient dynasty and becomes the wife of a crown prince. A straight man inside a woman’s body, he enjoys flirting with his husband’s concubines and touching their bodies, but eventually falls in love and has sex with his husband after embracing his feminine side.
But alas, the show’s runaway success led to it being scrutinized by Chinese censors. Last Wednesday, LeTV removed the show from their platform, stating that they were asked by “the relevant department” to take it down while they went through a process of “optimizing content.”
In addition to Go Princes Go, Caixin reported that five other series have been taken off line and according to an anonymous employee from Tencent. The company had preemptively taken down two of the shows in anticipation of a request by censors.
The organization in charge of policing the entertainment industry, the State Administration Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), has a history of heavy handed censorship. In 2015, the TV soap opera The Empress of China was ordered to cut out the far from excessive amounts of cleavage on display.
Another television series called The Lost Tomb reportedly garnered $760,000 per episode and brought 2.6 million new paid subscribers to rival streaming platform iQiyi. Producers of the show had already taken steps to avoid censorship, with the characters handing over their treasure and loot to the government every time.
Here’s a trailer for Go Princess Go for those wondering what they missed out on:
By Kitty Lai