China urged to respect art after Taiwan TV series suspended

Taipei-In the wake of media reports that a Taiwan television series has been removed from the Chinese market because it received “pro-independence sponsorship,” Taiwan is urging Beijing not to allow political factors to interfere with cultural and entertainment exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

“My Dear Boy (????),” produced by Taiwan actress, television and film producer Ruby Lin Xinru (???), has been pulled from the broadcast schedule after Chinese netizens complained that the TV series received NT$20 million (US$69,000) in financial subsidies from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.

They suggest that allowing the program to be seen in China would be tantamount to letting the forces of Taiwan independence run rampant in the mainland, Taiwan’s media reported Sunday.

The Guangdong Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television Bureau responsible for licensing television services in the province confirmed that the TV series has been removed from the schedule after just two episodes, according to the reports.

In response, the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s top government agency tasked with handling cross-strait affairs, said if the news reports were true, such action by China would hurt the feelings of people in Taiwan and run counter to China’s stated position of working to find common ground with Taiwan.

The MAC said that cross-strait culture and entertainment exchanges help promote mutual understanding between people in Taiwan and China, while calling on Beijing to support creative work in the fields of culture and entertainment.

Lin’s office issued a statement on Sunday saying that she did not and will not support any pro-independence discourse or action.

According to the statement, the financial support from the Ministry of Culture went to Gala Television Corp., the company that produced “My Dear Boy.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture said that encouraging and supporting freedom of creation and expression is at the core of its policies and expressed regret about the all too frequent infringement of the right to freedom of expression experienced by Taiwan nationals working in the entertainment industry in China.

The ministry also said it was regrettable that the political views and positions of Taiwan’s entertainers are frequently subject to censorship in China.

Noting that providing subsidies to support TV and film production is a longstanding policy of the ministry, it said that such blatant political interference in the industry will serve only to undermine its normal development and industry exchanges across the strait.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel