Too Much Cleavage? Fan Bingbing’s “The Empress of China” Temporarily Halts Broadcast

Fan Bingbing’s (范冰冰) epic 300 million RMB historical television series The Empress of China <武媚娘> has temporarily halted its broadcast after the December 27 episode. Although Hunan TV cited “technical difficulties”, some viewers believe that the leading ladies’ revealing costumes, which show ample cleavage, may be have contributed to the sudden broadcast disruption.

Known for its grand set and expensive wardrobe, the highly anticipated epic production of The Empress of China broke Internet and television records when it premiered on December 21. The drama follows Wu Zetian’s (Fan Bingbing) journey from being a concubine of Emperor Taizong to being the first Empress of the new Zhou dynasty. Zhang Fengyi (张丰毅) stars as Emperor Taizong and Aarif Lee (李治廷) stars as Taizong’s son Li Zhi, who later becomes Emperor Gaozong of Tang.

After airing the December 27 episode, Hunan TV announced that The Empress of China would temporarily halt its broadcast, citing technical difficulties. Fan Bingbing implied a different reason regarding The Empress of China’s postponement. She wrote on her Weibo blog, “The one who wants to wear a crown must bear the weight.”

It is speculated that the real reason why the series was stopped was due to its revealing outfits. The Tang imperial garments worn by the women in the series show ample cleavage and décolletage, which became a hot topic in online forums. It was rumored that the overexposure forced the The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT)  to temporarily halt the series’ broadcast so Hunan TV would have time to edit it.

However, there are also rumors claiming that Hunan TV stopped broadcast due to a quota problem, which seems to be another probable reason according to industry insiders. The drama will resume airing on January 1, 2015.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Lmfao!! Technical difficulties? Seriously?! Shouldn’t the costumes designers check the broadcast policies before designing the costumes? They can always pixilate the sensitive part. Lol!!!

  2. Their fault for choosing ‘Curse of the Golden Flower’ as an example to follow. 😛

    I doubt the Tang ladies have push up bras t0 achieve such effect.

  3. If it will resume broadcasting on jan 1st and unedited, then the theory about the cleavage is not accurate.

    As to the accuracy of the costume, or the make up or the extensive hair ornaments, or the history, no comment. But I thought china banned series with real historical people?

  4. The costumes are pretty but too much revealing. I doubt back then, the ancient Tang women were allowed to wear these kind of clothes with boobs popping out. Technical difficulty is definitely not a good excuse for halting the show. This show should be rated 18+.

    1. Actually during the Tang dynasty, the clothes had low necklines, so the costumes were merely just being historically accurate.

  5. if it is really for the cleavage reason then it is really a big joke. there’s really nothing to show other than cleavage, it’s not like they are pulling their clothes down to show any boobies…. it’s known that women in tang wore revealing clothes….

  6. The cleavage of the girl on the left looks so fake. Couldn’t they have a more natural push up bra? Lol.

    1. My breast does the same shape when it’s pushed from the sides& front, inward. And they’re real 🙂 its the costumes fault.

  7. I think if they dress so provocative like that back then – the king would have chopped off their heads already.

  8. One thing the Chinese do better than anyone else is censorship. If SARFF had problems with all these boob cracks (fractures)showing, they would not have allowed the drama to air in the first place.

    So, people who believe the veracity of this article should have their heads examined.

    1. You have a point. Did anyone tuned in? How was it? Plus, I’ve noticed fbb skin tone is paler than most. Is it natural or cosmetically done?

  9. I recall some of the ladies in Michelle Ye’s series, Purple Hairpin, was it? – had similarly revealing costumes. I am doubting that this is the real reason.

  10. China is too much. Nothing with showing a little cleavage. They look beautiful and sexy. Love it

  11. This excuse seems silly one they’re not showing their what not’s so whats the big deal

  12. wait…if tvb is airing this then they must not air it during prime time since it’ll be 18+? YUS THE DAY HAS BEEN SAVED

  13. May be I’m old fashion, but I think the beauty of our Chinese culture (also most Asians’ cultures) is that we are conservative and modest. When we open a little bit each time – we are losing our culture/thinking. What is the 1st thing the Westerners think about Asian people in general? We are conservative, modest, polite, hardworking and very family oriented people – among other great qualities we possess.

  14. It’s not like the censors didn’t know about the costumes, as much publicity was made about the excess cleavage when filming started. So it’s doubtful that’s the reason for the temporary halt. Whatever, this is a boost for publicity and will garner even higher viewership when broadcast resumes.

  15. The clothes in Tang Dynasty are like that. However, the actresses went over the top with push up bras or ehatnot and made their boobs pop out so much that it looks obscene.

  16. There is no way they can really imitate Tang dynasty style with the current stick-figure actresses throughout Japan, China/HK/Taiwan, Korea. Considering the Tang era favors heavier figures. They paid too much attention paid to cleavage and fashion during the production process. I wish they could have picked better actresses/actors. Consort Xiao Qiang’s acting is rather poor. When she throws tantrum or cries, it can induce cringe sometimes. Janine Chang’s acting is sometimes a bit overdone too, though it has improved since her earlier work. She still looks like she is trying/acting too hard when she is trying to be super-cute/innocent or evil. The actors for some of the princes are sometimes a bit stiff. Not very impressive acting from the princes either. The director for “Zhen Huan Biography” seems much better at directing actors/actresses.

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