China Bans Time Travel Stories on April 1st, But Isn’t Joking

The present future just got a tiny bit more weird. According to China features blog ChinaHush, the General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television have decreed that no more stories potraying time travel can be made or aired in the country. The decision was made in a Television Director Committee Meeting on April 1st.

The reasoning, in a statement translated by ChinaHush:

The time-travel drama is becoming a hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore.

According to ChinaHush, this is possibly in reaction to the growing popularity of time-travel romances cropping up in China’s television programming. The Bureau also decreed that no more adaptations of China’s Four Great Classical Novels can be produced, as well, citing fatigue of the source material.

Although we can all cite fiction tropes that we’d like to see banned for a little while, it’s always interesting, and in many cases absolutely frustrating, to hear of a government action against something conceptual. In a way, it underscores yet again how consistently science fiction tropes we grow up eventually wriggle their way out into the real world.


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