Wang Xiao-feng posted Wang Shuo's Informer Letter to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate against the corrupted practice of T.V program censorship teams. Wang Shuo is a contemporary Chinese writer who is well-known in Pi-zi (痞子) rascal behaviour. The letter is in the style of parody but capture the reality of censorship practice in China. Here is the text and translation:
Wang Shuo : Letter to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate
In response to the call for anti corruption and bribery by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the launching of combat month against the crime of negligence of duty, I, hereby, file a case against television dramas review panel of the Radio, Film and Television System on the widespread criminal acts of corruption and duty dereliction:
Since the 1990s, all TV stations have set up program review teams that compose of retired comrades and the so-called old artists to carry out political censorship against all T.V dramas. This measure was originally a strengthening in management, especially to prevent the influence of the vulgar Hong Kong and Taiwan dramas. However, absolute power has led to absolute corruption, and these groups of people gain the absolute power on top of all other departments to decide whether the T.V program can be on air or not. Since 1997, all program production teams had to give bribe to the review teams in order to pass the censorship. Each round of review would cost RMB30,000-50,000, if the drama has to go though several rounds of review, they have to pay several rounds of payment. Each program has to go through at least two rounds of reviews. If the program cannot pass the censorship, there is no refunding. No one dare to ask for refund as you have to deal with them again next time and you don’t want to be banned again.
Annually, China produces 20,000 episodes of drama, each drama on average has 20 episodes, the total number of drama set would be around 1,000. When I quote the amount of RMB30,000-50,000 per review round, it is Beijing Broadcasting System prices, other provinces may have different charges. Whether or not the 1,000 drama can be on air or not, they need to be censored. If I use the lowest charge RMB30,000 times 1,000, times 10 years, the total amount is RMB300 millions. Multiplies by 2 rounds, it would be RMB600 millions. Such cost has excluded entertainment fee. The review team would ask for luxurious hotel, grand dinner, Karaoke, entertaining mistresses. All management staffs of production teams know the expenses. They, together with drama directors, can serve as witness. Just ask them to get a clear picture.
China's annual film at the box office is around 1 billion. This group of scum, each team has around 3 to 5 or 5 to 6 members, multiplies by 600 millions, I don’t want to go into this calculation. Damn Marxist Old comrades – scum! Traitors!
INFORMER: Wang Shuo citizens. June 10, 2007
Wang Xiao feng follows up the letter with three questions:
1. If Wang Shuo said there are 20,000 T.V drama episodes annually, how can the team of people watch all the dramas? If they can't, what should to do?
2. As this is a real name informer letter against corruption, we can't just treat it as lousy entertainment news, shouldn't the relevant government departments give an answer or deal with the matter?
3. If Wang Shuo produces T.V drama in the future, will he face revenge?