China slams high actor pay, bars 'effeminate' behavior from screens

BEIJING – China on Thursday extended crackdown on its entertainment industry, urging broadcasters to exclude artists with “wrong political positions” and feminine styles from shows, saying a “patriotic atmosphere” needs to be fostered.

The National Radio and Television Administration said in an online announcement that it would tighten regulation of cultural programming and crack down on what it believes to be unhealthy content, celebrity salaries and tax evasion.

Chinese regulators have tightened their oversight of a wide range of industries, from technology to education, to strengthen control over society and key sectors of the economy after years of rapid growth. On Monday, they introduced new rules that limit the time kids can spend playing video games.

The entertainment industry came into focus after a series of celebrity tax evasion and sexual assault scandals. Last week, China’s Internet regulator said it was taking action against what it calls “chaotic” celebrity fan culture.

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In the announcement, the NRTA said regulations limiting the pay of actors and guests should be strictly enforced, and they should be encouraged to participate in public welfare programs as well as be socially responsible. Tax evasion would be severely punished.

The selection of actors and guests should be carefully controlled, taking civic education and moral behavior into account.

The notice also stated that what it called “deformed” flavors such as “feminine” aesthetics in programs should be ended. Conversations with “vulgar” internet celebrities, scandals and the display of wealth should be declined.

An unhealthy fan culture should be cracked down on and voting segments of programs should be tightly controlled, with fans being encouraged to spend money to vote, the statement said.

China has strict rules on content ranging from video games to films to music, and censors anything it believes violates core socialist values.

Authorities and state media have suggested in recent months that the country’s boys need to become more masculine and have criticized male stars who prefer heavy makeup and project a feminine image.

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