No more live sex-changes on Chinese TV

BEIJING, Aug 24, 2007 (AFP) – China has banned a blood-spattered genre of reality TV shows where patients undergo sex-change operations and cosmetic surgery live in front of mass audiences. It is estimated that one million Chinese undergo plastic surgery every year, according to state media reports. The “exhibitionist” programmes serve the sole purpose of boosting viewer numbers and do not have a positive impact on society, the Beijing News on Friday cited authorities saying.

The notice banning the programmes, issued Thursday by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, ordered TV stations to halt new productions and immediately stop ongoing programmes.

The notice said this was necessary in order to safeguard the credibility of the TV stations and ensure they maintain a benevolent impact on society, the paper reported.

“It’s really disgusting, just horrible,” it quoted one person saying after watching a live show in which a patient had eyelid surgery, a common procedure in many parts of Asia.

The in-your-face surgery programmes have proved popular in several parts of China.

Typically the shows have featured a large studio audience watching surgery via