|The Party and nothing but the Party.|
Big Brother - The Chinese Communist Party is aggressively censoring TV, the internet and demanding worship of the Party.
- The Communist Party issued "guidelines" that limit programming it deems too frivolous, too sexy or too irreverent.
Big Brother was at the biggest show on earth - the Chinese New Year's Gala broadcast on state controlled TV.
The show is CCTV's annual five-hour program of dancing, singing, comedy, magic tricks, propaganda and kitsch. CCTV claims that more than 90% of the Chinese population watches the show, making it by far the most popular in China and one of the most watched television programs in the world.
But in a growing crackdown, the Communist Party is censoring the Gala and all other programming on TV.
Last year, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued a series of guidelines that limit programming it deems too frivolous, too sexy or too irreverent, reducing much of CCTV's content to blandness.
This year, some of China's most popular entertainers have dropped out or refused to appear in the gala.
Communist propaganda from last year's show:
- A singer in a low-cut red dress belted out "The Flag Is Brighter," with lyrics praising the Communist Party while dancers unfurled red banners around her.
- Break-dancers dressed as migrant construction workers did a routine to a revolutionary ballad, "We Workers Have Strength."
- Dancers dressed as Mongolians, Tibetans, Uighurs and other minorities twirled to a song called "Big Happy Family."
This is the most censored show on Chinese television," said Wu Renchu, a film critic based in Shanghai. He said the gala acts must go through three rounds of approval.
"There is more and more ideology and less entertainment. It is all about praising the achievements of the party and the nation. With stand-up comedy, you can't have anything that touches on the reality of life in China."
China's most famous female comic, Song Dandan, protested that she wouldn't appear on the gala "unless they arrest me, sentence me.... I really don't want to go."
Although CCTV's own research trumpets the more than 90% viewership statistic, a poll last year found the number closer to 70%, and another survey found that only about 15% of viewers liked the show.
(Los Angeles Times)
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