Chinese netizens call for cartoon boycott on “ adult ” content

Yeloli 3D cartoon series Photo: Sina Weibo

Netizens called for a boycott of a series of 3D cartoons on “adult” items and said China needs an animation classification system.

The boycott campaign came after a blogger with 2.5 million subscribers posted an article titled Cartoon Elementary School Pupils Watch Even Adults Would Blush Watching. In the article, the author said the cartoon has too much unhealthy content, including bullying in school and loving young people.

The named cartoon Yeloli, tells the story of some elementary school students and fairies who fight against an evil queen to help save the earth.

Released in 2013, Yeloli had eight seasons with 208 episodes in total, and his views topped 17 billion. The cartoon placed third in a survey of “children’s favorite cartoons” conducted by the Jiangsu Consumer Council in east China’s Jiangsu Province, after Boonie Bears and Peppa Pig.

Meanwhile, many cartoon-based cultural products including comics and games have also gained great popularity, making the company behind it one of the few profitable animation companies in China, reported The Paper.

However, the high rating doesn’t mean the cartoon isn’t problematic, and its most serious issue is its strong “grown-up” color, netizens said.

The characters in the animation are well dressed and their personalities are approaching adulthood, especially after the girls have acquired the magical power of fairies and transformed themselves in a mature manner, with long waists and legs, small faces, a high nose and sexy dresses.

The cartoon only has a low score of 4.4 / 10 on Douban, China’s rating website. Many Chinese netizens have taken to social media, claiming that the cartoon is “poisoning” the younger generations of China.

Yeloli fails to guide children in developing healthy values, and has prematurely tied everything in the adult world to children, allowing them to be “adults” in advance, “wrote one surfer on Sina Weibo, a Chinese company like Twitter.

Some netizens have suggested implementing an animation classification system like the systems used in the United States and Japan.

Wu Xiaolin, an attorney for the Yingke law firm in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday that the first step is to create an ethics review board to verify the content of the cartoons.

“It is important to prevent commercialization and adult in programs aimed at minors, and to protect the rights and legitimate interests of minors,” Wu said, adding that further regulation was needed.

In March, the National Radio and Television Administration asked for public opinion on the classification of films and television, including programs aimed at children.

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