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January 15, 2020

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Adviser calls for safer reality TV shows

TV reality shows requiring participants to survive in the wild or face challenges involving great difficulty or danger should undergo a safety assessment first before being filmed, according to a proposal by local adviser Yao Jianjian at the ongoing annual session of city’s top political advisory body.

Yao said reality shows were booming in China. However, to attract the audience, the activities on these shows were getting more dangerous, he said. Participants were not merely asked to do simple items such as jogging, diving and outward bound activities but triathlons and wilderness survival.

One tragedy was the death of Taiwan-born Canadian model-actor Godfrey Gao. On November 27 last year, the 35-year-old collapsed when filming “Chase Me,” a reality series produced by Zhejiang Satellite TV which pits celebrities against amateur contestants in a variety of outdoor physical challenges. It was later announced that he had died from sudden heart failure.

Yao says several factors led to security problems. There was not enough supervision given to the filming of reality shows and no specified standards set for these shows’ security evaluation and management.

He is suggesting setting up a system of safety assessment and strict rules for such reality shows with those failing tests prohibited from filming.


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