Tang Wei Blacklisted

Tang Wei, leading actress of last year's thriller "Lust, Caution," has been blacklisted by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television. A recent television for skin care brand Pond's was pulled by the agency's order on Thursday night.

According to the Hollywood Reporter (not a usual source for China Law Blawg news):

In a statement titled "Reassertion of Censorship Guidelines" and dated March 7, SARFT said that, on Monday, it informed all major film and broadcast entities and governing bodies that it was renewing prohibitions on "lewd and pornographic content" and content that "show promiscuous acts, rape, prostitution, sexual intercourse, sexual perversity, masturbation and male/female sexual organs and other private parts." However, the public notice, posted on SARFT's Web site, did not specifically mention "Lust" or Tang.

In addition, all awards shows in China were advised to exclude Tang and the producers of "Lust, Caution" from their list of guests, while discussions about the film and Tang on online forums were deleted, Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily reported.

Personally, I think it's interesting that they chose only to ban the woman involved in the "pornographic" scene. However, the AFP report offers this somewhat contradictory report and analysis:

The United Evening News said Chinese print and electronic media "were notified on Friday to immediately remove" any works and commercials featuring the Chinese actress. It was unclear how long the ban would last.

The report cited unnamed sources as saying that Tang came under fire as the film, a tense drama set during Japan's occupation of Shanghai in the 1940s, was deemed as "beautifying" those who collaborated with the Japanese at that time.

"Beautifying Japanese collaborators sparked the controversy over 'Lust, Caution' in China even more than the sex scenes did," the report said.

In the movie, Tang joins the Chinese resistance and is tasked with killing a powerful Japanese collaborator, but she changes her mind at the last minute.


Taiwan-born director Ang Lee was spared blacklisting because he is an artistic advisor to the Beijing Olympics, unnamed industry watchers were quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Regardless of why or how the decision was made, however, Mr. Lehman offers the following opinion:
"China's media is China's business and they should be able to ban whomever they wish. The FCC and BBC does it, why not the Chinese media? I support their decision."

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