Chinese Censors Order Agent Carter to Be Taken Down from Streaming Sites For Excessive Flirtation
China has ordered several series offline on the grounds that they did not pass muster with the censors, including Agent Carter and Fox series Empire. New censorship regulations state that an entire first season must be approved before posting a single episode online.
The State General Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) has begun to crack down on foreign content, especially American content, in order to decrease the amount of American content on their streaming sites as well as the amount of "morally objectionable content" available in China. Sexual activity is particularly subject to censorship according to the new guidelines, with "one-night stands, extramarital affairs, partner-swapping, partner-swapping, flirtation, rape, incest, necrophilia, prostitution, sexual perversion, and masturbation" all deemed unacceptable. The fairly explicit Showtime series, Shameless, has already been taken off the air for being "too sensitive."
Some of these bans are unsurprising, but the ban on "flirtation" seems particularly excessive. That's the only test that Agent Carter would likely fail, as it is a relatively asexual show. Even the flirtation on the show is chaste, postwar flirtation, although that one scene where she kisses a man in order to knock him out with her special lipstick might do the trick. There are other American shows that remain on Chinese websites for now, such as Stalker, Two Broke Girls, and American Horror Story, and the new guidelines don't bode well for them, as all of them are more sexual than Agent Carter. Indeed, the SAPPRFT has said that they "may face trouble" from the censors in the future.
Agent Carter's fourth episode, The Blitzkrieg Button, airs on January 27.