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.
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.
Comments on Sina Weibo:
Oh my god!
If it was really like this, then it was understandable that they censored it…
It opened a new world.
Thanks you SARFT for your “well-intentions”.
The more they don’t let people watch, the more lewd people become, SARFT is really well-intentioned.
Hahahaha what the fuck is this shit!
Why do they have to crop from the neck up when it only gave people unlimited room for imagination???
Haha, so this is the truth.
The unstoppable netizens.
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.
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.