China’s state censor has banned children of the rich and famous from appearing on reality TV shows after a series of scandals involving some of the country’s “rich kids” stoked the Chinese public’s anger.
The country’s state news agency, Xinhua, announced the ban by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPRFT) on April 17.
Reality shows starring famous “fuerdai” — the second generation of the rich — have been plentiful on the country’s airwaves over the past few years. Two popular reality shows, “Dad! Where Are We Going?” and “Dad Came Back,” are being cancelled because of the new prohibition.
The new regulations, which call for reality TV shows to be “strictly controlled,” were instituted to supposedly protect minors from being exploited by their parents and TV networks. However, local critics and social media are skeptical of the official reasoning behind the move, and have speculated that the ban was put in place in order to help the government and its ultra-wealthy citizens save face.
The ban is also in line with President Xi Jinping’s austerity measures for the country’s ruling class. Since taking office in 2012, President Xi has sought to crack down on debauchery and overspending by officials.
A well-publicized example of the local controversy caused by the country’s rich kids involves one of its most infamous scions, Wang Sicong, the son of China’s richest man, Wang Jialian. Last year, he received negative attention after he posted a picture of his pet husky wearing two Apple watches to social media. A Xinhua op-ed published shortly after said there “are certain celebrities that recklessly disseminate vulgar information” that leads to “the worship of money to sex and violence.”