China has banned homosexuality and other “abnormal sexual relationships” from television according to new censorship rules.
In an effort to tighten control on media and the arts in the country, a set of guidelines entitled General Regulations on Television Content Production was issued by the government-approved China Alliance of Radio, Film and Television.
The document is dated December 31, but began circulating this week after top broadcast regulator Li Jingsheng mentioned it at a speech during a national TV conference.
It states: “No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviors, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.”
The document also explains that extramarital affairs, one-night stands, and underage love are off-limits, as well as some more unusual elements such as “witchcraft practices.”
While the guidelines may not be law, many shows that didn’t meet the new requirements have recently been taken down from streaming sites, including popular gay drama Addicted which was removed last week.
Shows that have been banned in China in the past include Doctor Who – for promoting time-travel which is a prohibited theme – The Big Bang Theory, and The Good Wife.