China's latest ban: Time travel

China's latest ban: Time travel

Popular time travel TV series inspire "historical" ruling
Don't expect to see 1985's classic "Back to the Future" on HBO any time soon.

Chinese authorities have slapped on a new media ban: time travel on TV. 

This ruling is intended to curb what the Administration for Radio, Film and Television describes as exaggerated plot lines and historical revisionism that “lacks positive thoughts and meaning.”

In a March 31 statement, the bureau claimed that time travel “casually makes up myths, has monstrous and weird plots, uses absurd tactics, and even promotes feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.” 

The Chinese government bans all media it believes unhealthy for public consumption.

Two of the recent TV series that set government censors off and running were the highly rated Chinese TV series, “Myths,” and "Palace."

In "Myths," the protagonist meets historical figures Xiang Yu and Liu Bang and they become brothers. In “Palace,” a 21st-century Chinese girl travels to the 1700s imperial palace and changes history. Both shows air on state-run CCTV. 

China, with more than 1.3 billion people, reaches the world’s largest TV audience and the globe’s fastest-growing movie market, so for many in the government the idea of time travel could, in theory, pose a danger.

“Most time travel content that I've seen -- in literature and theater, that is -- is actually not heavy on science, but an excuse to comment on current affairs,” film critic and journalist Raymond Zhou Liming told The Hollywood Reporter.

Local reports say the State Administration has declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the new time-travel guidelines, although they did say that literature and movies are not subject to the new restriction.

Jane Leung is a Hong Kong-born Canadian who has dabbled in the mixed media bag of film and television production, the professional sports industry and magazine publishing. 

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