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Most Netizens Support Ban on Talent Show: Survey
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Most Chinese Internet users support the government's ban of the talent show "The First Heartthrob", according to a voluntary online survey that also revealed an overwhelming number of people concerned about increasing "vulgarity" on Chinese television.

Of 9,981 respondents, 70.82 percent supported the ban, according to the survey jointly conducted by the social survey centre of China Youth Daily and the news center of Tencent.

Only 3.76 percent objected to the ban, and the other 25.42 percent had not watched the program.

"The First Heartthrob" was aired by the Chongqing TV until Aug. 15, when the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) banned the program due to its vulgar content and "low-grade interest".

In an episode that received much comment on the Internet, competitor Dai Chuang asked judge-singer Ke Yimin to give him a personal item.

Ke gives Dai a ring. Then Dai kneels down and gives the ring to Yanger Chenamu, another judge-singer, praising her as very beautiful. But in a later show Dai says Yanger was "very stupid", and Yanger demands Dai take back the ring, causing Ke to burst into tears.

Chongqing TV quickly terminated its contract with Zhou Zhishun, director of the program.

Ke apologized to the public in an open letter for her "inappropriate performance" after the ban was issued.

Many respondents thought the program was too sensational in its own promotion.

University student Zhao Yang, 24, said, "Chinese talent shows should not focus on audience ratings, but on taste."

In response to a question on whether Chinese television was becoming increasingly "vulgar", 95.4 percent of 9,966 respondents answered "yes".

On the question "What percentage of current TV programs do you think cater to low tastes", 63.2 percent of 10,017 respondents believed most were of low taste and 18 percent said more than 90 percent were vulgar.

The banning was one of a series of recent SARFT measures to regulate TV programs. On Friday, it banned all television shows involving plastic and transsexual surgery.

(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2007)

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