China’s own version of the classic comedy show Saturday Night Live has been pulled from its online streaming home, Youku, following a crackdown of content by officials which is deemed “low taste and harmful” to young viewers during Summer holidays.
A spokesperson for Youku, Alibaba’s online video site, said that China’s SNL was “removed so adjustments could be made to its content”, but assured fans that it “will be back soon”. It was one of many comedy shows recently removed from the platform.
Given China’s strict censorship laws, its local SNL was considerably less political than the US’, with no shots taken at the country’s government or political issues within the country. However, one sketch from a recent episode took aim at China’s publicly-ridiculed national football team during the FIFA World Cup. It’s thought this seeming act of anti-nationalism is responsible for the show’s disappearance.
In a post on its social media, SNL China said that it was “working hard to become better,” and pleaded with fans “to have a big smile when we see each other next time.”