China Bans Time Travel in TV Shows, Movies
Josh Holloway and Elizabeth Mitchell
China doesn't want to go back to the future or the past: The Chinese government has banned any depiction of time travel in TV shows and films because the plot element "disrespects history."
In a statement on March 31, China's State Administration for Radio, Film & Television said that fictional time-traveling in programs "casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation."
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Time-traveling Chinese shows have been prevalent as of late, featuring protagonists going back to ancient times and writers taking liberties with events.
"Producers and writers are treating serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore," SARFT said.
The issued guidelines discouraged producers and writers from using time travel, along with any elements that contain "fantasy ... random compilations of mythical stories, bizarre plots, absurd techniques," if they want their programs to stay on the air. SARFT, however, has the power to pull the plug on any show whenever it wants.
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The ruling comes as the Communist party (CPC) celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
"Follow the central spirit of the CPC to celebrate its 90th anniversary on television," SARFT said. "All levels should actively prepare to launch vivid reproductions of the Chinese revolution, the nation's construction and its reform and opening up."