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January 22, 2015

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Cleavage ban explained

A HISTORICAL drama was censored following public complaints that its revealing costumes were unsuitable for young viewers, China’s censor said yesterday.

Members of the public had complained that “The Empress of China,” was “bad for the healthy growth of juveniles,” said Tian Jin, director of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

This was the first time the administration had sought to clarify why the Hunan Satellite Television drama was pulled last month and not broadcast again until shots showing cleavage were re-edited.

“Our artistic works, films and TV dramas should all promote China’s core values and pass on positive energy and good and true ideas,” Tian said at a Beijing press conference.

The drama, also known as the “The Saga of Wu Zetian,” is an account of Wu Zetian, the first and only empress in China, who reigned during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

The 300 million-yuan (US$48.30 million) production, starring Fan BingBing as Wu, premiered on December 21. It was withdrawn a week later for “technical reasons.”

A new version launched on January 1, with close-ups of stars replacing cleavage, has been dubbed “Saga of Big Head Wu” by web users.


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