China's top press and media watchdog yesterday said fantasy
films such as the Harry Potter series are not included in
its recent nationwide sales ban on horror audio and video
Traditional Chinese myths, fantasy and science fiction stories
are "fundamentally different" from the definition of horror videos,
which usually "involve alien-looking characters and fictional story
telling, both specifically for the sole purpose of terror," the
Beijing Times reported today, citing an unnamed official
with the General Administration of Press and Publications.
Chinese classics like Journey to the West, The
God's Story and Erotic Ghost Story have made
remarkable achievements in terms of literature, art and ideology
while films such as the Harry Potter series can also help
inspire imagination and creativity among children and teenagers,
the report said.
The administration issued a circular banning the sales of horror
audio and video products last week, the latest initiative to
"protect the country's children and teenagers' psychological
development," according to a previous report.
The administration said the violence and cruelty involved in
these products were unfit for children, and extremely harmful to
their psychological development.
The circular ordered all publications with elements of mystery
and horror to be taken off the market, and videos in production
must delete any hint of mystery and horror.
China began its crackdown on so-called "terrifying publications"
in April 2006, specifically targeting a Japanese comic Death
Note. It involved a notebook that can kill people if their
names are written in it.
China launched a crackdown against "vulgar" content in video and
audio products this year. Producers were ordered to stop selling
(Shanghai Daily February 19, 2008)