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The Bizarre Reason Why Chinese Television Started Blurring Men’s Ears

TV viewers in China recently noticed something strange whenever certain male celebrities showed up on screen – their ears were digitally blurred as if to hide something. While Chinese television has yet to make an official statement on this issue, the measure seems meant to hide men’s earrings.

Last year, China’s media regulator banned TV stations from showing celebrities’ tattoos as well as other elements of “hip hop culture, sub-culture and immoral culture,” in an effort to minimize Western impact on China’s pop culture. It was only a matter of time before men’s earrings were targeted, and earlier this year people started noticing that earring-wearing male actors and other pop icons had their ears blurred. The hashtag #MaleTVStarsCantWearEarrings recently went viral online, with tens of thousands of people criticizing the move as discriminatory.

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