China Bans Hip-Hop Culture & Tattoos From Television
BY: JENNA CALDWELL
Nicki, sweetheart, we’re sorry. It looks like you won’t be racing to China with Chyna anytime soon.
China, a country that is no stranger to censorship, has announced that hip-hop culture and actors with tattoos will be barred from appearing on television. According to the Chinese news site SINA, the country’s top media regulator, the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China (SAPPRFT), now “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 director of the administration’s publicity department, Gao Changli, outlined four - arguably subjective - rules that the media must abide by moving forward:
“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 ban appears to be a direct response to Chinese rap artists gaining international recognition. Rapper PG One, was forced to apologize earlier this month after one of his songs, “Christmas Eve,” was criticized for promoting drug culture and misogyny. GAI, another well-known rapper, was removed from Hunan TV’s competitive show Singer. Clips of GAI, were also removed from China Hunan TV’s official Youtube Channel with any official explanation.
The ban doesn’t just stop at music. A contestant on the show Super Brain, which is not hip-hop related, had his hip-hop style necklace blurred out.
According to BBC, a 12-episode internet game show called Rap of China shows just how popular hip-hop culture is becoming China. It racked up over 2.5 billion views following its premiere last June.
So why the sudden ban?
Some have speculated that it’s because the capitalist nature of rap culture doe not line-up with China’s communist values. (I.e., 21 Savage’s “Bank Account,” Gucci Mane’s “I Get the Bag,” nearly every rap song produced, ever). Others have taken to twitter to speculate as to why the ban has occurred and if there are any racial ties to the decision:
China's wrongly conflating lack of morality with hip hop. Not unlike America. Coupled w/ the blatant racism African expats face on the daily, this isn't a good look for China. I'm sure I could do a deeper dive on this, but that's all I got right now. https://t.co/nKIjhBBlEu— Monique Jones (@moniqueblognet) January 23, 2018
China isn't being racist and "banning hip-hop". They want to curb the superficial appropriation of African-American culture, which divorced from its progressive historical context has led to some chauvinistic Chinese hip-hop promoting sexism and glorifying wealth and hedonism https://t.co/wNd78bOTRE— Ajit Singh (@ajitbirsingh) January 23, 2018
I mean I think it's sad that a bunch of ppl in China are not gonna have the beautiful art form that is Hip Hop. Then again alot of non black ppl dont know how to act with black culture no way so idk.... still f'd up tho— LOOΠΔ-OLOGIST PHD (@GowonStanLOONA) January 24, 2018