China Bans Hip-Hop from TV – Calls for ‘Noble’ Morality Aligned with the Party

Image: YouTube

China’s media regulator put modern culture in the crosshairs last week with the banning of hip-hop culture and actors with tattoos from appearing on television.

Because censoring music always works well with the youth. Um.

In its latest content dictate, The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China – home of the wonderfully rhythmic acronym, SAPPRFT – said that it:


…specifically requires that programs should not feature actors with tattoos [or depict] hip hop culture, sub-culture (non-mainstream culture) and dispirited culture (decadent culture).

The administration’s publicity director, Gao Changli, specifically outlined four “Absolute” rules for broadcasters to follow reports Time:

  • Absolutely do not use actors whose heart and morality are not aligned with the party and whose morality is not noble
  • Absolutely do not use actors who are tasteless, vulgar and obscene
  • Absolutely do not use actors whose ideological level is low and have no class
  • Absolutely do not use actors with stains, scandals and problematic moral integrity

The no nonsense ban follows the removal of the popular and controversial rapper GAI from Hunan TV’s Singer amateur competition show.

Following the removal, clips of GAI, whose given name is Zhou Yan, were also pulled from China Hunan TV’s official Youtube Channel with no official explanation.


Another well-know hip-hop artist, Wang Hao, aka PG One, was this month forced to issue an apology after one of his songs, “Christmas Eve,” was criticized for promoting drug culture and demeaning women.

Tencent News additionally reports that Rapper Mao Yanqi, aka VaVa, was cut from the variety show Happy Camp, while songs by underground rapper Triple H, were also removed from Chinese streaming sites.

How far will censors go?

A recent contestant on the show Super Brian had his hip-hop style necklace blurred out – and the show is not even related to hip-hop.

Image: Weibo

According to Time, Chinese social media has not responded favorably to the ban.

“SARPPFT is so trashy! They didn’t want to give Chinese hip pop singers any chance of survival! we can go back to ancient times,” wrote one user on Weibo — China’s equivalent of Twitter.

“How can a government with high culture have such childish logic?” asked another.

You can check out some of GAI’s work here with English subtitles. He’s definitely hard core.


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