Gay Sherlock Holmes fan fiction irks China’s media regulatorEntertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Thursday, April 17th, 2014
CHINA — China’s media regulator has recently cracked down on fan fiction which focuses on romantic relationships between fictional characters of the same sex and that includes the popular Sherlock and Watson which it views as pornography, reports GayAsiaNews.com.
The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications (NOAPIP) has recently launched a new crackdown on online pornographic content in a campaign called “Cleaning the Web 2014,” reports online.thatsmags.com.
This involves thorough checks of websites, search engines, and mobile app stores.
All online texts, pictures, videos, and advertisements with pornographic content will be deleted. The declared purpose of the campaign is to “create a healthy cyberspace,” according to the NOAPIP, is one without slash fiction.
Slash fiction or “dan me,” a subset of fan fiction which focuses on romantic or sexual relationships between fictional characters of the same sex, is particularly popular on the Chinese web and no character coupling is more popular than that of Sherlock and Watson.
“Curly Fu” and “Peanut” are the names given by Chinese fans to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, because they resemble the Chinese pronunciation of their names.
The “gay-citement” tag is used to describe the excitement of seeing what Chinese fans like to think of as the love between the two characters.
Hence there are numerous Chinese sites that host Sherlock fan fiction, depicting the detectives as a couple.
“Sherlock tortures Watson a thousand times, and Watson loves him like his first love,” wrote a fan.
Since the launch of “Cleaning the Web 2014″ however, many Chinese fiction-sharing websites have removed their slash collections, including jjwxc.net, the most popular self-publishing website in the country. Moreover, websites dedicated to slash, such as dmxsw.com, have been shuttered completely.
At least 20 writers have reportedly been arrested for producing slash fiction.
According to Offbeat China, many in the slash community see the recent crackdown as an example of systemic discrimination against same-sex relations.
“This is not cleaning the cyberspace. This is pure discrimination. I may never see a rainbow flag fly above China in my life time,” a fan wrote
A police officer in charge of the recent slash crackdown said slash fiction is “essentially pornographic novels that promote homosexuality.”
China legalized adult same-sex relations in 1997 and removed homosexuality from an official list of psychiatric diseases in 2001 but social stigma and discrimination against the LGBT community persists.
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes is famous for his logical reasoning and use of forensic science to solve difficult cases. John H. Watson, known as Dr. Watson, is a character in the Sherlock Holmes stories and is Holmes’ friend, assistant and sometime flat mate.
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