Why Are Chinese Actors Getting Their Earrings Blurred Out?

Men with earrings are having their accessories blurred out on camera. It's reportedly due to the jewelry on men being at odds with the Chinese government's view of masculinity.

This sort of censorship by popular streaming platform iQiyi is apparently nothing new. Tattoos and LGBT symbols are also reportedly censored by the entertainment company.

In 2016, the China Television Drama Production Industry Association is reported to have banned homosexual content from Chinese screens, describing it as "vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content."

"It's a system under which the national television and radio administration answers directly to the highest levels of government. There's always the opportunity for state intervention," Doctor Josh Stenberg, professor of Chinese Studies at Sydney University told 10 daily.

The stars are having their earrings blocked out to present a masculine image. (Image BBC/iQiyi)

Stenberg says the Chinese government is keen to present men with a "standard" image of masculinity in mainstream media.

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"The government is concerned to present a martial, military, assertive, strong China," said Stenberg.

"They've decided that more androgynous displays of masculinity or earrings... don't fall within the range of what's acceptable for a Chinese man,"

The streaming provider has also allegedly censored LGBT references (Image AAP)

This is in contrast to classical Chinese culture, which has shown multiple forms of masculinity, according to Stenberg.

"I think it's reasonable to interpret this as a message to young Chinese men that they should adopt assertive versions of masculinity on the world scene," he said.

"There's a history of policing masculinity in order to produce a certain national image."

Comment has been sought from iQiyi.

Feature Image: AAP

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