Big Bang Theory Was Banned in China for a Frankly Ridiculous Reason

Big Bang Theory Was Banned in China for a Frankly Ridiculous Reason
Image credit: CBS

Back in 2014, TBBT fans were not able to enjoy their favorite show in China.

The Chinese market is one of the most attractive for western media products, but sometimes issues arise over whether a movie or a show is locally appropriate. There was a time when The Big Bang Theory apparently did not pass the test.

Initially, The Bing Bang Theory enjoyed massive fan love in the eastern country, with the show eclipsing 1.3 billion views. But then things changed.

In 2014, China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) suddenly banned The Big Bang Theory from the country's largest streaming service, Sohu.

The decision left fans shocked and stunned, craving for an explanation. Well, according to SARFT, The Bing Bang Theory was "provoking troubles in society".

The explanation naturally had some jaws dropped, with people accusing the Chinese government of not wanting "losers" to be "trendy" – and TBBT definitely made an input into making nerds and geeks, who are often considered "losers" for some reason, to feel less discriminated and mocked.

A 2013 survey by the very streaming service that delivered TBBT to the Chinese audience revealed that 80% of respondents aged 24 to 34 "self-identified as diaosi [a Chinese informal word for "loser"]." However, it seemed that people were proud of it and did not consider it to be a derogatory term.

Another theories implied that the ban was an attempt to limit the influence of the west in China.

However, the ban turned out to be short-lived. After a massive backlash and a rise in alternative ways to download banned content, the government moved to lift the ban in July 2015.

The Big Bang Theory returned to Sohu, to fans' great joy, and became available for streaming once again. We do love a good happy ending!