There's been a bit of an online backlash in China over censors cutting all cleavage from scenes in a popular TV drama about China's only female emperor.
The drama, The Empress of China , also known as the Saga of Wu Zetian was pulled from the schedules of commercial satellite station Hunan TV for technical reasons late last month, Xinhua reported.
When it returned a few days later, the show, starring the famous Chinese actress Fan Bingbing in the title role of Wu Zetian had been conspicuously edited.
Scenes of female characters, with cleavage showing dressed in period costume, had been cropped out, leaving only close-ups of their heads.
The Global Times insisted that a system of control was necessary. it wrote in a propaganda piece:
The reality is that censorship exists in many countries and it is unlikely to be reversed in China.
Changes to The Empress of China sparked fury among mainland internet users, who argued that censors had gone too far. An online survey released by the Sina Weibo microblogging service on Monday found that nearly 95% of respondents disapproved of the
censorship of The Empress of China.
Some mainland bloggers, who renamed the drama The Saga of Wu's Squeezed Breasts , mocked the decision by censors. They circulated a series of edited pictures on social media, showing people how to highlight the head and hide the breasts when it
comes to other characters.
The Global Times newspaper noted the defiance in an editorial:
While the censorship was largely done out of moral concerns, the resulting public outcry should serve as a warning for the future. While it is powerful, censorship lacks authority. In this sense, when using censorship, more considerations should be given
to public opinion to garner support and avoid similar incidents.