Big Bang Theory and Other American TV Series Banned in China?

Some leading Chinese web sites that offer video streaming have pulled from lists the American sitcom series Big Bang Theory. Visitors who searh for this show these sites will be served a message "Banbed due to policy." Pulled along with Big Bang Theory are a few other American TV shows, among them The Good Wife, NCIS, and The Practice.

The exact reason for withdrawal of these shows is not clear. There is the rumor that the event took place as part of a Chinese government's crackdwon on sex and violence in movies and television programs. Some people, however, have suggested that the shows were pulled due to the fact that, even though the video-offering companies signed agreements with American producers to play these shows at Chinese web sites, these companies did not secure broadcast permits from the Chinse ministry in charge of film and television production. In fact, some commentators allege that the injunction on the shows is a monopoly move by China's powerful Central Television Station, which is said to have plans to import American TV series itself.

American shows such as The Big Bang Theroy have been popular among some Chinese viwers, mostly college students. There have been complaints, however, that these shows promote a culture of promicuity and decadence.

Those who defend the American shows accuse Chinese censors of bias against foreign culture. They point out nowadays movies and televisions shows made in China also contain heavy sexual themes and violent scenes.