Chinese authorities have ordered television stations, cinemas, online entertainment sites and other outlets not to show works by entertainers found to have been involved in vice crimes such as using drugs or visiting prostitutes, state media reported Thursday.
Although the industry's regulating agency — the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television — has not released the internal document or officially acknowledged it, the Communist Party-run People's Daily confirmed the ban by quoting unnamed insiders in an online report. The English-language China Daily also reported the ban, as did the news portal Sina, which published the content of the Sept. 28 directive.
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Calls to the administration rang unanswered Friday.
The directive cites directors, playwrights and actors whose misdeeds such as using drugs or hiring prostitutes have hurt the industry and corrupted society's moral standards. It says the rules are aimed at cleansing screens, airwaves and cyberspace to ensure that core socialist values are promoted.
The directive refers to those who have been "punished" by police, which in the Chinese legal system does not necessarily involve courts or convictions. Police can mete out penalties such as administrative detention or time in rehabilitation camps.
The order follows a string of police detentions this year on drug or prostitution charges of celebrities including Jaycee Chan, son of movie superstar Jackie Chan; Taiwanese heartthrob actor Kai Ko; Chinese director Wang Quan'an and popular playwright Ning Caishen.
Under the rules, the offenders' film, television, radio and advertising works — past or upcoming — should be suspended. The offenders also are banned from appearing in any further entertainment program, online drama or microfilms. The directive does not specify how long the sanction will last.
Xu Shaolin, a Beijing-based independent commentator, said on his microblog that the order is harsh because it affects all entertainment platforms and appears to have no time limit. This not only penalizes wrongdoers, it also hurts all of the co-workers and investors in any production they have been involved in, Xu said.
"All of the effort by investors and other cast and crew members will be for nothing, because of the misdeeds of one or two actors," Xu wrote.