‘Papa, where are we going?’ — ‘Off the air, kiddo’

No more junkets for you, kid!

No more junkets for you, kid!

In their never-ending quest to make China’s airwaves wholesome, socialist and by the way thoroughly boring, China’s media censors have set down a new rule: no more shows featuring children of celebrities, like Kimi at right.

The new edict effectively kills one of China’s most popular programs, Hunan Satellite TV’s 爸爸去哪儿 (Bàba qù nǎ’r? — Where Are We Going, Daddy?), which features celebrity fathers and their adorable children as they visit various rural places in China, get lost, play games and eat local food.

Kimi Lin (aka 小小志), 7, was one of them. He and his father, Jimmy Lin ZhiYing 林志颖, appeared in the first season. Jimmy is a Taiwanese actor, singer and race car driver, and his wife, Chen RouYi 陈若仪, is a Taiwanese actress and model. Kimi, incidentally, was born in California.

The show has since had two more seasons, with a different team of parents and kids each time, and has inspired two feature films.

But now it’s off the air, because China’s media police, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), declared that TV programming should not glorify celebrities over more humble people, and should not propel innocent children into the public spotlight.

The show will still be available online, so China’s cute-kid junkies can still get their weekly fix of adorableness.

SAPPRFT also promulgated rules last month banning “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content,” including smoking, drinking, adultery, sexual freedom, homosexuality, perversion and reincarnation. They’ve previously banned several Japanese anime series and even censored some episodes of the kiddie cartoon 喜羊羊与灰太狼 (Xǐ Yáng Yáng yǔ Huī Tài Láng — “Pleasant Goat and Grey Big Wolf”). A popular historical drama set in ancient China had to crop some scenes, so as not to show too much of the actresses’ cleavage. Even The Big Bang Theory was inexplicably unavailable on China’s video streaming sites for a few months.

Meanwhile, it’s perfectly OK to show valiant Chinese soldiers blowing up barbaric Japanese invaders, or slicing them in two.

More at Shanghaiist.

And yes, I have watched Where Are We Going, Daddy? It’s cute, fun and completely harmless. I did not feel debased because those people are rich celebs and I’m not, and I suspect most of the show’s 75 million viewers could care less what these people do for a living.

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