Chinese Reality Show Blurs Christmas Symbols to Boycott Western Holidays

A popular Chinese reality show sparked controversy last month after pixelating all elements relating to Christmas on an episode shot in a luxurious hotel decorated for the Christian celebration.

Mango TV, a subsidiary of state-controlled Hunan Television, aired the first episode of the sixth season of Who’s the Murderer, a popular online reality show, on December 24. As it was Christmas Eve, the television saw it fitting to shoot the show in a hotel decorated for the Christian celebration. However, they also decided it would be a good idea to censor all elements related to Christmas, as a way to avoid being criticized by the Government for showing Western festivals and worshiping foreign things. The result was a pixelated mess, with protagonists walking by blurred Christmas trees, tinsel-decorated plants, and even wearing blurred Christmas hats.

Who’s the Murderer¬†is features a cast of celebrities who play different roles in order to find evidence at a “crime scene” and figure out who the murderer is. It’s not the kind of plot that would ever be associated with Christmas, but production thought that the special episode’s setting could be interpreted as a promotion of Western festivals, so a decision was made to blur out all Christmas trees, wreaths, bells, and other decorations during broadcast. Even the protagonists’ Christmas hats were censored with post-production cartoon hats.

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