(Adds government denial)
HONG KONG, Sept 22 A well-known contemporary
Chinese dancer says she has been removed as a judge from a
television talent show despite the objections of the show's
producers, and believes it is because she is a transsexual.
Shanghai-based retired dancer Jin Xing announced on her
microblog that she had received the news in a telephone call
this week from the director of the singing show, which is made
by a television station in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
"He told me that the reason for my removal, according to the
regulator's letter, is because I am transsexual, which will have
negative effects on society," Jin, a one-time colonel in a
People's Liberation Army dance troupe, told Reuters.
She said the directors of the programme strongly opposed the
decision to remove her, but were "helpless" upon receiving an
official order from the Zhejiang branch of the national
"I've received around 50,000 messages that have given me a
lot of encouragement and comfort, so I think there is a sense of
righteousness in society and the people's eyes are enlightened,"
said Jin, whose name literally means "gold star."
But the official Xinhua news agency denied that the local
regulator had ordered Jin off the air because she is a
transsexual, saying that the decision was made by the station
itself and "the bureau has not interfered with the show".
Once a taboo topic during the heyday of Chinese communism,
society's attitude towards sex and sexual minorities have
relaxed considerably in the past decade, though conservative
views also remain common.
One, microblogger Chen Ji, wrote: "It seems that the State
Administration of Radio, Film and Television wants to create a
Jin questioned why the regulator did not order her to be
dropped from the start.
"Maybe it's because during this period, there have been a
pattern of restrictions toward stations in Zhejiang and Hunan
from the top, from Beijing," said Jin, who is legally recognised
as a woman on her identity card.
China this month ordered a hit talent show akin to American
Idol produced in the central province of Hunan off the air for a
year for exceeding broadcasting time limits.
Beijing's prudish censors routinely block anything they
consider politically sensitive, offensive or too racy, from
songs to films, in contrast to the stirring patriotic fare the
government promotes on mainstream stations.
Jin said television stations may feel the need to go to
extremes to express their agreement with orders from the top.
"So as a result, in order for Zhejiang's television bureau
to express their attitude, they must go to extremes to show that
they're in agreement, and I've been axed in the process," she
"But using my transgender status as an excuse? That is
(Reporting by Sisi Tang; Editing by Ben Blanchard, Elaine Lies
and Yoko Nishikawa)