×

China Court to Hear Test Case on Gay Depiction in Media

A Chinese court is to decide on a test case concerning the depiction of homosexuals in the media. Gay relations are currently treated as abnormal.

Mainland Chinese newspaper The Global Times reported that a Beijing court Wednesday accepted a case brought by a private citizen, Fan Chunlin, demanding that the country’s media regulator State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) to clarify its current regulations. A verdict is likely to be announced within six months.

Regulations currently ban online providers from carrying content that “present abnormal sexual relations or behavior,” such as incest, homosexual relations, sexual harassment and sexual violence. Any such content is considered pornographic or vulgar, opening the platform or broadcaster to penalties.

The regulation was published in June last year by China Netcasting Service Association, a non-governmental organization administered by SAPPRFT. It counts China’s major Internet providers and streaming services as its members.

China officially decriminalized homosexuality in 1997. And homosexuality was removed from a list of mental illnesses in 2001. But being gay continues to carry much of the social stigma in China that it did through most of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Because of the stigma, the number of homosexuals in China is unknown. The Global Times puts the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at around 70 million people, or 5% of the national population.

Private legal actions against government bodies are problematic and extremely rare in China. Fan’s lawyer, Tang Xiangqian, says the chance of winning is small but that the action would raise awareness of LGBT issues.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Is Testing Human-Curated 'Collections'

    Netflix, a company powered by the strategic use of data, relies on artificial intelligence to suggest new content that its streaming customers are likely to be interested in. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch: The company has launched a limited-scale test of “Collections,” a new feature that presents groups of movies and [...]

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

  • Tim Connolly - Quibi

    Quibi Head of Partnerships and Advertising Tim Connolly Departs

    Tim Connolly, the former Hulu exec who joined Quibi last year as head of partnerships and advertising, is leaving the mobile TV subscription startup founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Connolly’s exit comes eight months ahead of Quibi’s planned April 2020 debut. A Quibi rep declined to comment on his departure, which was first reported by Business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content