Why China Is Banning Celebrities From Hosting TV Shows

In a country with over a billion people in it, you’re going to get some wild ideas in the entertainment field, and while some of them involve batshit crazy commercials, others seem pretty smart indeed. For instance, China will no longer be allowing any kinds of celebrities to step in as guest hosts or presenters for TV programs, basically as a way of ensuring good hosting etiquette without any unnecessary screw-ups. Only professional hosts need apply.

Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, has already put his foot down when it comes to the proliferation of reality TV in general. Now he’s trying to clean up the TV programs that already exist by wiping out actors and actresses, as well as musicians and others, as guest hosts and presenters, saying that there should be strict definitions and guidelines for guests and hosts that keep them separate. The regulation will go into effect on July 1, according to the Chinese news source Xinhuanet, and will cover news shows, commentary panels, and interviews.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television states that the responsibilities of TV hosts include bringing regularity to the pacing of a show’s live broadcast, as well as guiding the audience during the telecast. And obviously, without the proper know-how, guests shouldn’t be expected to waltz in and expertly take over, especially if it’s some celebrity who might make a mistake or an off-the-cuff remark that wasn’t called for. So that spells disappointment for anybody hoping to see Seth Macfarlane host the Golden Horse Awards.

In the future, hosts will be required to go through more training before shows are recorded, and they must have vocational qualifications. And yes, there will be inspections to make sure those qualifications have been earned. I’m guessing a laminated card from the Ryan Seacrest and Cat Deeley House of Hosting will suffice. Or maybe not.

It’s a pretty interesting approach to the world of hosting, and one that the U.S. would probably never adapt to, given this country’s embrace of all things celebrity. Even our biggest award ceremonies of the year, including the Oscars and Emmys, will often go with a currently popular celeb as a host rather than someone who is proven to know how to lead a crowd and work the stage. Of course, we generally have celebrities that end up becoming those professional hosts in the first place, but there are still people like Ryan Seacrest who make names for themselves through inherent talent, rather than by banking big box office receipts.

So if you were planning on moving to China in the near future specifically to watch a bunch of new reality TV shows and live TV hosted by the hottest Chinese actors and actresses, maybe change your plans.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.