China Bans Broadcasters From Promoting “Sissy Men” and Other “Abnormal Esthetics”
The move comes after regulators made efforts to “masculinize” Chinese boys and “restore” Chinese society to what President Xi Jinping views as ideal.
No More “Sissy Men”
The Chinese government told television broadcasters and internet platforms on Thursday that they need to showcase “revolutionary culture” and stop promoting “sissy men,” an order that is sure to shake up Chinese celebrity culture.
The General Office of the State Administration of Radio and Television wrote to broadcasters that in addition to “resolutely [putting] an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics,” they must also avoid promoting “vulgar internet celebrities” who “violate public order” or who have “lost morality.”
The ruling particularly stresses the need to avoid portraying and promoting “sissy men,” a derogatory Mandarin term that is often used to describe those who embrace the younger, boy band looks that are popular with certain people in South Korea and Japan, as well as sizeable parts of Chinese society.
Other rules that will drastically change the face of the internet and television include new restrictions on portraying admiration of wealth and celebrity. Outlets are instead being asked to “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture.”
The regulations also state, “Those who have incorrect political positions and who are alienated from the [Communist] Party and the country must not be included [in programs],” meaning only those who unabashedly support the Chinese government will be allowed to stay on television.
The changes won’t just affect broadcasters. In fact, authorities are demanding that actors have limits on their pay. Officials are additionally pushing for contract terms aimed at stopping actors from evading taxes, which is notable since several high-profile stars have been embroiled in tax-evasion scandals over the last three years. One recent case from last week involved Zheng Shuang, an actor who was fined $46 million for tax evasion. As part of that ruling, a judge was a warning to actors to be positive role models.
Just a Step Towards National Rejuvenation
While these changes seem like drastic shifts, there were signs it would happen. For example, on Saturday the popular Twitter-like platform Weibo suspended thousands of fan club and entertainment news accounts. Even before Saturday’s crackdown, leaders and officials in China have been trying to get boys to engage in what they see as “masculine” activities, with many believing that the recent push to limit video game time for minors is tied to the push to “masculinize” teen boys.
However, the most obvious sign that the Communist Party is seeking to remold Chinese society comes from words shared by President Xi Jinping. In the past, he has as called for a “national rejuvenation” aimed at pushing the country to an “ideal” society. For instance, Xi releasing a pamphlet in October 2020 with vague plans for such a rejuvenation.
“China’s past made its mark on human history,” he wrote at the. time, “China’s present is being created by the hands of hundreds of millions of Chinese people; China’s future will be even brighter.”
“All members of the Party, the armed forces and the people of all ethnic groups should unite closer, stay true to our original aspiration and founding mission, and continue to consolidate and develop our People’s Republic.” Xi continued in his closing remarks on the pamphlet. “We should continue to enhance our efforts to achieve the two centenary goals and to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.”
It’s unclear how serious regulators are when it comes to enforcing the new rules, but broadcasters have already begun canceling reality shows. Meanwhile, young Weibo users have expressed anger at what they view as out-of-touch bureaucrats enforcing arbitrary rules.
See what others are saying: (NBC News) (ABC News) (Los Angeles Times)
95-Year-Old Woman Dies After Police Tases Her in Nursing Home
The officer involved was suspended with pay and charged with assault.
A 95-year-old Australian woman whom police tasered in a nursing home last week has reportedly died from her injuries.
Clare Nowland, who had dementia and required a walking frame to stand up and move, was living at the Yallambee Lodge in Cooma in southeastern Australia.
At about 4:15 a.m. on May 17, police and paramedics responded to a report of a woman standing outside her room with a steak knife.
They encountered Nowland, then reportedly tried to negotiate with her for several minutes, but she didn’t drop the knife.
The five-foot-two, 95-pound woman walked toward the two officers “at a slow pace,” police said at a news conference, so one of them tasered her.
She fell to the floor and reportedly suffered a fractured skull and a severe brain bleed, causing her to be hospitalized in critical condition.
Nowland passed away in a hospital surrounded by her family, the New South Wales police confirmed in a statement today.
After a week-long investigation, the police force also said that the senior constable involved would appear in court next week to face charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault.
NSW police procedure states that tasers should not be used against elderly or disabled people absent exceptional circumstances.
Following the incident, community members, activists, and disability rights advocates expressed bewilderment and anger at what they called an unnecessary use of force, and some are now questioning why law enforcement took so long to prosecute the officer involved.
See what others are saying: (Reuters) (The New York Times) (CNN)
U.K. Police Face Backlash After Arresting Anti-Monarchy Protesters
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that some of the arrests “raise questions” and “investigations are ongoing.”
The Public Order Act
A controversial protest crackdown law in the U.K. is facing criticism after dozens of anti-monarchy protesters were arrested during the coronation ceremony in London over the weekend.
The law, dubbed the “Public Order Act” was passed roughly a week ahead of the coronation for King Charles III. It gives police more power to restrict protesters and limits the tactics protesters can use in public spaces. It was condemned by human rights groups upon its passing, and is facing a new round of heat after 52 people were arrested over coronation protests on Saturday.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said protesters were arrested for public order offenses, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. The group said it gave advance warning that its “tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low and that we would deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining the celebration.”
It is currently unclear how many of those arrested were detained specifically for violating the Public Order Act, however, some of those arrested believe the new law was used against them.
“Make no mistake. There is no longer a right to peaceful protest in the UK,” Graham Smith, the CEO of anti-monarchy group Republic tweeted after getting arrested. “I have been told many times the monarch is there to defend our freedoms. Now our freedoms are under attack in his name.”
An Attempt to “Diminish” Protests
During a BBC Radio interview, Smith also said he believes the dozens of arrests were premeditated.
“There was nothing that we did do that could possibly justify even being detained and arrested and held,” Smith claimed.
“The whole thing was a deliberate attempt to disrupt and diminish our protest.”
Yasmine Ahmed, the U.K. Director of Human Rights Watch, also tweeted that the arrests were “disgraceful.”
“These are scenes you’d expect to see in Russia not the UK,” she wrote.
When asked about the controversy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters officers should do “what they think is best” in an apparent show of support for the Metropolitan Police.
For his part, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he is looking into the matter.
“Some of the arrests made by police as part of the Coronation event raise questions and whilst investigations are ongoing, I’ve sought urgent clarity from Met leaders on the action taken,” Khan tweeted.
See what others are saying: (The Guardian) (CNN) (The Washington Post)
Foreign Nationals Make Mad Dash out of Sudan as Conflict Rages
The conflict’s death toll has surpassed 420, with nearly 4,000 people wounded.
As the 10-day-long power struggle between rival generals tore Sudan apart, foreign governments with citizens in the country scrambled to evacuate them over the weekend.
On Sunday, U.S. special forces landed in the capital Khartoum and carried out nearly 100 American diplomats along with their families and some foreign nationals on helicopters.
An estimated 16,000 Americans, however, remain in the country and U.S. officials said in a statement that a broader evacuation mission would be too dangerous.
Christopher Maier, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity warfare, said in a statement that the Pentagon may assist U.S. citizens find safe routes out of Sudan.
“[The Defense Department] is at present considering actions that may include use of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to be able to observe routes and detect threats,” he said.
Germany and France also reportedly pulled around 700 people out of the country.
More countries followed with similar efforts, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, China, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Indonesia.
Yesterday, a convoy carrying some 700 United Nations, NGO, and embassy staff drove to Port Sudan, a popular extraction point now that the airport in Khartoum has closed due to fighting.
Reports of gunmen prowling the capital streets and robbing people trying to escape, as well as looters breaking into abandoned homes and shops, have persuaded most residents to stay indoors.
Heavy gunfire, airstrikes, and artillery shelling have terrorized the city despite several proposed ceasefires.
Over the weekend, the reported death toll topped 420, with nearly 4,000 people injured, though both numbers are likely to be undercounted.