Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat may insist the famed detective’s relationship to Dr. John Watson is a totally platonic bromance, but countless fans, especially those with Tumblr accounts, tend to disagree.
Sherlock and Watson are perhaps the most slashed TV due since Kirk and Spock, and China has allegedly had enough of it. Pink News reports:
According to That’s Shanghai magazine, the large amount of gay slash fiction generated by fans of the BBC show is falling foul of the latest purge by the Chinese National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications (NOAPIP).
Fan fiction based on the pairing of Sherlock and John Watson is very common, with the pair, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, nicknamed ‘Curly Fu’ and ‘Peanut’ by Chinese fans.
Offbeat reports that NOAPIP’s latest initiative, Cleaning the Web 2014, has targeted self-published male-on-male fan fiction, known as danmei, and that several writers have been arrested, and websites forced to shutter.
One of the country’s largest fan-fiction websites, Jjwxc, has removed its danmei section, while other websites devoted to slash, such as Dmxsw, were shut down entirely.
A police official told Offbeat: “[Slash fictions] are essentially pornographic novels that promote homosexuality.”
Joking aside, it’s sad to see anti-gay censorship crush fans’ creative endeavours. People seizing control of fictional universes for their own creative purposes — whether it be fanfic, fan art, or cosplay — is one of the most beautiful things fandom has to offer.
What’s more, the Washinton Post reminds us that NOAPIP is about a lot more than protecting BBC canon.
The Washington Post reports that the new anti-porn initiative is also being used to stifle dissent in the country.
Blogger Zhang Jialong wrote: “As social conflicts intensify, particularly between Chinese officials and the people they are supposed to serve, central authorities hope to clamp down, clean up, and suppress any so-called ‘harmful information’ that is disadvantageous to their dictatorship.”