BL Dramas Try to Navigate Around Censorship

With the recent crackdown on Chinese Boys’ Love (BL) dramas by the National Radio and Television Administration’s special operations, several productions are in danger of being shelved. Earlier, period drama Word of Honor <山河令> starring disgraced artiste Zhang Zhehan (張哲瀚) was taken offline, while fans fear that upcoming drama Chasing the Light <左肩有你> starring Fan Bingbing’s (范冰冰) elder brother Fan Chengcheng (范丞丞) and Wang Anyu (王安宇), might also share the same fate.  

Adaptations of BL novels face purging 

A League of Noblemen

Due to strict broadcasting policies, dramas such as 2019’s The Untamed <陳情令> had to go through significant script changes to pass official guidelines, while at the same time such themes have exploded in popularity in the region.

Keenly anticipated production The Case of Mr Zhang<張公案>, a period drama starring Jing Boran (井柏然) and rising actor Song Weilong (宋威龍), was recently been renamed A League of Noblemen <君子盟>, a move suspected to distance itself from the original novel. Intimate male scenes were also rumored to be snipped so it could pass official checks and be approved for release. Listed online for a 2021 release, the actual premier date has yet to be confirmed. 

While some doubts lingered over whether A League of Noblemen could be categorised as a BL drama, the author of the original novel has since stated that he had only written a “detective novel” without any romance elements – a response which led some fans to blame him for destroying their BL romantic imagination. Now, fans probably have the author to thank now for ‘righting’ the drama’s category. 

2 men on a bicycle
Chasing the Light

Several other productions still in the pipelines also risk censor cuts, including Chen Feiyu (陳飛宇) and Leo Luo Yunxi’s (羅云熙) Immortality <皓衣行which had originally been scheduled for an April releasein addition to Winner is King <烽火流金>, Heaven Official’s Blessings <吉星高照>, Jin Yu Strategy <錦玉攻略>, In Darkness <逆光者>, The Story of the Bat <夜燕白>, Reckless <今朝萬年長>, Guardians of the Lands <山河表里>, The Abyss <深淵>, Seizing Dreams <奪夢> and Arrogant <隅我同行>.  

Source: On.CC

This article is written by JoyceK for

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  1. I don’t watch or read BL theme, neither do I have anything against it. What is frustrating however is fans linking anything to BL. Still remember years ago reading a BG novel where it also shows some parts of two little boys who are each other’s playmate as their mothers are close friends. Some readers then went on requesting the author who had never written BL stories to write about a BL of the two little boys in their adulthood. Why couldn’t it be those little boys growing up to be good friends when there was no hint of anything that suggested otherwise? They were just kids!

  2. Should have banned BL dramas long ago, cannot understand how people can stand 2 guys casting lovey-dovey eyes at each other. And yeah, FCC is the younger brother of FBB, not elder!

  3. and HK just aired their first BL drama. There’s a market for everything so people will just look elsewhere for BL.

  4. I never really enjoyed BL dramas. I get comraderie between male characters who trust each other with their lives and can due for one another (like in Nirvana in Fire, or wuxia novels) and I understand why some fans like to ship them as couples in their fandoms. But when the BL amorous factor comes in it confuses me. I have watched Brokeback Mountain, Lan Yu and other productions with homosexual themes and I am fine with it as it is part of the story and it adds to the emotional conflict, but the BL factor just confuses me. Does it need to be there? Does it add to the story? I have never been a big fan of series with a lot of romance.

  5. I feel like there’s 2 buckets of comments here: BL dramas versus homosexuality. People should really be careful what they are against. Homosexuality is not a crime and it is also a celebrated freedom but if you don’t like the over saturation of BL dramas, that’s a preference and it’s understandable.

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