go princess go, china, webseries, censorship

Go Princess Go Is Gone: China Bans Popular Gender-Bending Web Drama

Chinese censors recently banned Go Princess Go (太子妃升职记), a popular web-based drama series about a modern man who goes back in time, lives in a female body and marries the emperor.

The series debuted last December and went viral almost overnight. Caixin.com reports that Go Princess Go received over 10 million views and has brought 500,000 new members to LeTV, the internet streaming subscription service that broadcast it. From the trailer below, we can see why: it looks awesome.

Unfortunately, the series disappeared from the internet on January 20. In its place was a statement from LeTV that the series was temporarily offline so that its content could be “optimized.”

China’s media is heavily censored by the state. Quartz explains,

China’s top media watchdog, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), is notorious for its heavy-handed censorship (the name alone shows the agency’s reach). Last year, it ordered TV soap opera The Empress of China to cut all the shots of buxom ancient women’s cleavage before the show was allowed to go back on air. It has issued several orders to content providers—especially TV programs—to avoid a long list of topics from masturbation to one-night stands.

But its tightening grip had never really touched online series like this before.

Why was Go Princess Go banned? There’s no word from SAPPRFT yet, but we can guess the show was just too racy for the censors, and its LGBT themes of gender swapping probably didn’t make China’s conservative, anti-gay government very happy.

Go Princess Go wasn’t the only series taken down, either. Other culled titles include Psychological Crime (心理罪), The Lost Tomb (盗墓笔记), The Ferry Man (灵魂摆渡2), and dramas Death Notice (暗黑者1) and Blind Spot (探灵档案).