China: ‘Super Girl’ music tv-show suspended by government censors



Popular music tv-show suspended by government censors

One of China’s most popular televised talent shows, ‘Super Girl’, has been put under yearlong suspension by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

The finales of ‘Super Girl’ — the Chinese version of ‘American Idol’ — attracted more than 400 million viewers in China. Government officials have variously described the show as “vulgar,” “manipulative” and “poison for our youth.”

Andrew Jacobs wrote in the New York Times:
“Although government officials did not elaborate on the reasons behind the cancellation of “Super Girl,” television executives and cultural critics suggested that the ruling Communist Party was unnerved by the runaway success of the show, whose producers have created a string of American-style reality shows that are more popular than the turgid fare of the state-run broadcaster, CCTV.

Others suggested that the show’s reliance on voting by audience members was dangerously democratic. Such conjecture is not far-fetched: regulators banned text-message voting from viewers in 2007, forcing the show to largely limit audience participation to those inside the cavernous television studio.

Zhan Jiang, a journalism professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said the ban reflected the growing chasm between Chinese youths and the conservative bureaucrats who keep a tight leash on the production and dissemination of popular culture. “The old guard still has a very different notion of morality from the younger generation,” Professor Zhan said. “Maybe government regulators just got too many complaints from retired cadres.”

Despite its immense popularity, “Super Girl” went on a three-year hiatus in 2006 after a previous controversy fanned by Liu Zhongde, a former culture minister who led a campaign against the show. In a string of interviews in the state media, Mr. Liu lambasted the program as a threat to traditional Chinese culture and a blight on the nation. “What the market chooses is not necessarily a good thing,” he said at the time.”

The finalists of the previous ‘Super Girl’ show

Logo of the tv-show

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The New York Times – 19 September 2011:

‘Popularity May Have Doomed Chinese TV Talent Show’

Other sources

CNN – 19 September 2011:

‘Censors kill off China’s ‘Super Girl’ ‘

The Washington Post – 19 September 2011:

‘China’s ‘Super Girl’ talent show canceled for being too democratic?’

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