The Chinese government has ordered a boycott of “sissy pants” celebrities as it escalates a fight against what it sees as a cultural import that threatens China’s national strength.
In a directive issued on Thursday, China’s TV watchdog said entertainment programs should firmly reject the “deformed aesthetics” of niangpao, a derogatory term that refers to effeminate men.
The order came as Beijing tightens control over the country’s entertainment industry, taking aim at an explosion of TV and streaming shows that hold increasing sway over pop culture and the youth.
Young, delicate-looking men who display gentle personalities and act in boys’ love dramas have amassed large fan bases mostly comprising women.
Another thing to note about China:
Explicitly homosexual characters are not allowed on Chinese TV, and no prominent mainland Chinese celebrity has come out as gay. Platforms have previously blurred male stars’ earrings and ponytails because of their ostensible association with rebellion and counterculture.