China Bans Horror Movies in Preparation for Beijing Olympics

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As you probably know, the 2008 Summer Olympics will take place this August in Beijing, China, and they have been completely focused on making everything just perfect for the crowds of athletes and visitors who will be guests in their country during the competition (not to mention the millions that will be watching from home). However, throughout the painstaking process of preparation, there has been a increasing amount of government control being put in place to rein in anything at all that might reflect poorly on China. Recently they have been cracking down on websites that present content that is deemed to be “vulgar”, and now it seems they are stepping up the ban to include horror movies as well.

According to a story at Reuters, media outlets have been given three weeks to find any horror-related content and report it to the The General Administration of Press and Publications. Problematic movies would include anything related to “wronged spirits and violent ghosts, monsters, demons, and other inhuman portrayals, strange and supernatural storytelling for the sole purpose of seeking terror and horror”. Apparently they are worried about the negative influence that horror movies might have on the general public, and they aim “to protect adolescents’ psychological health”. You know, as much as I can understand China taking this opportunity to put their best foot forward and wanting to impress the world, I have to wonder… aren’t they worried about the bad press that this kind of censorship might incur?

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  • joe

    Censorship is so dumb.

  • I do tend to think like you Sean. The chinese government has made some concessions towards the economy by opening the market for the past 20 years. While giving some kind of liberty in handing buying power to their people, human rights are still at a worrying stagnant point.

    We’re talking freedom of speech and press liberty. Everything is restrained by the government and while worldwide leaders might preach liberty, you don’t see any firm stand against China. Thing is, China is too big of a market to alienate by stating a definite position against their administration.

    The thing we’re seeing here (horror movies) just sheds more light on these human rights being opressed. This is why you saw Steven Spielberg retract himself from the Olympic’s art direction, a little late in my opinion but at least he had the decency to do it. His retraction had more to do with the Sudan-Darfur crisis that the Chinese government continue to support by being the country’s #1 oil buyer.

    In short, it’s good to keep in mind that there is a bigger picture here but I’ll quote joe: “Censorship is so dumb.”