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10 Aug 2018

Chinese Drama With Gay Undertones Removed from Web

Chinese censors are targeting what they say is 'harmful and obscene' content.

Sci-fi thriller Guardian—or Zhenhun in Chinese—was taken down from Youku, a Chinese video hosting service in early August, less than two months after the show's debut in mid-June.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the show is the latest to be targeted by censors since a July order was issued by authorities to "clean up TV programmes of harmful and vulgar content."

A spokesperson for Youku told the South China Morning Post that the show was undergoing "content adjustments" but did not explain what this meant.

Guardian's 40 episodes had been viewed nearly 2 billion times before the show was taken offline.

The show is based on a book, published online by an author using the pen name Priest. The novel features two male characters who defend the world from evil using their superpowers, and are also in a relationship. The TV series played down this angle to avoid being purged by censors, and, in an effort to protect the series, fans avoided mention online of the same-sex relationship between the protagonists in the original book.

China

Reader's Comments

1. 2018-08-11 14:41  
Sad to see this narrow minded thinking.
2. 2018-08-13 03:50  
I watched a few episodes and there is NOTHING vulgar or obscene about it. If anything, the 2 leads have a bromance of sorts, but it never gets beyond a lingering gaze. There is nothing sexual at all in the series. Very sad to see such small minded homophobia.
3. 2018-08-14 16:34  
There's nothing sad about China's narrow mindedness in my personal view because that's quite typical of all dictatorships and, therefore, to be expected. Unlike in forward thinking Western democracies, however, there are hardly any reported cases of gay bashing or hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals in China or other East Asian societies. People who live glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
4. 2018-08-14 23:07  
Correct me if I'm wrong. But I believe China's homophobia stemmed from Christianity. I read that when European missionaries came to China during Manchurian dynasty, they were appalled by blatant display of homosexuality, including the worship of a gay god called Rabbit God. The Manchurian government heard about the condemnation and felt greatly ashamed. So from that point, China slowly embraces homophobia. It's another reason why I turn atheist now.
5. 2018-08-18 15:31
 "fans avoided mention online of the same-sex relationship between the protagonists in the original book."

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