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People’s Daily: SARFT to Set Limit on Excess Pay to Celebrities

On August 26, People’s Daily published an article reporting that the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) website posted a notice from the Party organization of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). The notice stated that a television station is not allowed to set the purchase price of a television program based on the status of the celebrities it uses in the program or on how famous they are. It cannot spend excessive marketing funds on the actors in the leading roles. The notice stated that, in addition, the movie and television industry should focus on the ideological values of the work and should also improve the cost structure of the production. It should also set requirements to limit the amount of music entertainment programs such as reality shows and also to limit the appearance of celebrities and their children who participate in the reality shows.

The notice was issued after two Chinese actors were recently paid 150 million yuan (US$22 million) to play the leading characters in a television drama. According to the article, the salary of actors in China, mostly the payment to famous celebrities, accounts for 50 to 80 percent of the cost of the movie, while Korea spends 20 to 30 percent and Hollywood spends around 30 percent of the production cost on such salaries. Excessive earnings have left little room for other production costs and have limited the production of good quality programs. China’s value system has also become misguided as people tend to seek money and fame.

Source: People’s Daily, August 28, 2016