Monday, 19 September 2011

China doesn't have The X factor

As the nights draw in and the Autumn TV schedules really start to rev-up, here in the UK and across the Western world, reality TV takes over. 'Talent' shows compete with 'celebrity' competitions that entertain tens of millions between the end of the Summer and Christmas. As with many things China does it all just on a little bit bigger scale with their version of The X Factor - where would-be pop stars sing off against each other - attracting 400 million viewers. That is almost 100 million more than the population of the United States.

So to celebrate the end of the latest successful series what have the TV network done? They have cancelled it and replaced the programme with "shows that promote moral ethics and public safety, and provide practical information for housework".

This is part of a wider crack-down on entertainment programmes in China which include the crazy idea of people voting for their favourite contestant as it is against the ideals of Chinese socialism. The latest round of censorship is going much further and shows the struggle for power going on within China between modernity and the ruling party.

I may not choose to watch The X Factor every Saturday and Sunday evening but at least in a democracy I have that choice.

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