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Censorship of “Empress of China” TV Drama Parodied by Netizens

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The Tang Dynasty historical drama The Empress of China starring actress Fan Bingbing was pulled off the air just 4 days after debuting on Hunan TV. While Tang Dynasty concubines such as the later first empress Wu Zetian were known to dress in revealing clothes that showed off ample cleavage, this was however deemed too risque by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) for broadcast. When the series finally re-aired on TV, all the scenes of the actresses showing cleavage were cropped out from the neck down.

Netizens responded to the censorship by filling in the cropped out frames with their own ‘imagined’ versions of the show, leading to numerous parodies online.

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The show Empress of China before and after censorship where the actresses’ cleavages were cropped out.

From Sina Weibo:

@人鱼线VS马甲线: An amazing reconstruction of the truth behind censorship of Wu Zetian’s cleavage, why did her cleavage get cropped out? Let us experience SARFT’s well-intentions.

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Comments on Sina Weibo:

融泽参茸-吉林省著名商标:

Oh my god!

兔菇小昭:

If it was really like this, then it was understandable that they censored it…

我是个懒惰的好菇凉:

It opened a new world.

Acebt:

Thanks you SARFT for your “well-intentions”.

游来 游去不是鱼:

The more they don’t let people watch, the more lewd people become, SARFT is really well-intentioned.

大楠哥啦:[email protected]:

Hahahaha what the fuck is this shit!

鸩玉_Cheung:

Why do they have to crop from the neck up when it only gave people unlimited room for imagination???

小绵羊穿靴子:

Haha, so this is the truth.

David-YING:

The unstoppable netizens.

清月寒雪:

I just want to say one thing! They didn’t censor the first episode yet they censor the rest, are they afraid of the high ratings??!! Only when all the leftover evil old men and women from the Cultural Revolution and the generation that they influenced dies, can I then truly love my country! As a student I am so disappointed, not for the show, but I can feel the despotism and tragedy of a backwards system.

candy艾藜自然卷:

Don’t you guys feel that after censorship, this kind of ‘imagining’ can be even more detrimental to young people, they might as well not censor it.

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Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai

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