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Reality TV ban for celebrities’ kids

Tian Liang and his daughter Cindy being interviewed at a promotional event for Dad, Where Are We Going

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Millions watched Olympic diver-turned-actor Tian Liang (L) and his daughter Cindy take part in Where Are We Going, Dad?

China’s media regulator has banned reality television shows from featuring the children of celebrities, spelling the end for one of the country’s most popular series.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) says keeping minors out of the spotlight will allow them to enjoy a normal childhood, avoiding the potential perils of overnight fame, state news agency Xinhua reports.

The move prompted the immediate cancellation of the hugely popular TV show Where Are We Going, Dad? The weekly series sees celebrity fathers take their offspring on trips to rural locations around China, and has proved to be a ratings hit – and advertising money-spinner – for Hunan TV, pulling in 75 million viewers per episode, People’s Daily reported last year.

In September, China announced a new law stipulating that children under the age of 10 must not be used in advertisements.

Unsurprisingly, some social media users aren’t too pleased with the change, which will also affect other shows. “SAPPRFT does not listen to public opinion,” complains one user on the Weibo microblogging site. Another notes sarcastically: “Great, now we can just watch 24-hour rolling news”.

Plenty of others have applauded the move, though. “This is good for the children,” reads one comment, while another describes the decision as “long overdue”. And for some, the cancellation of Where Are We Going, Dad? is no great loss. One user writes: “Whether it’s broadcast or not I don’t care, I’ve already seen enough and I’m sick of it.”

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