• Actors from "Dad, Where Are We Going?" movie. (Image. Chinatopix) (AAP)Source: AAP
People are concerned about the negative effect the experience could have on children's wellbeing.
By
Sarah Norton

21 Apr 2016 - 9:59 AM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2016 - 9:59 AM

China's media regulators have just delivered a huge blow to the entertainment industry in an attempt to allow celebrity children to have the childhood they deserve.

China has banned famous and wealthy kids from being on reality TV shows to prevent the encouragement of celebrity culture and the manufacturing of child stars.

The government's media regulator, The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) says that reality TV shows need to be "strictly controlled".

The official Xinhu News Agency reported on Monday, "reality TV shows with celebrity kids are no longer allowed to be produced and broadcast on TV, according to a circular by the media regulator."

Extremely popular shows such as Dad! Where are we going? and Dad Came Back, have already been cancelled following the announcement.

The changes will be a big hit to TV stations nationwide.

In 2015 SAPPRFT statistics showed more than 100 entertainment programs were broadcast across the nation on TV with many of those featuring children, generating over 10 billion yuan ($1.55 billion USD) in advertising revenue.

The Associated Press (AP) says that the move comes as a continued effort from China to attempt to prevent the manufacturing of child stars.

"While many kids enjoy the opportunities -- not to mention the attention -- brought about by their new-found fame, many people are concerned by the negative effect the experience could be having on their mental and physical wellbeing," the Xinhu News Agency writes.

The move is an attempt to take minors out of the limelight so they can enjoy the childhood they are entitled to.

"The sad reality is that as a result many celebrity children are being exploited as commodities," Ma Xiaoyan from the school of communication of Shangdong Normal University told the Xinhu News Agency.

"The sad reality is that as a result many celebrity children are being exploited as commodities."

So, SAPPRFT issued a ban on the use of celebrity children on reality TV and, according to the Chinese publication, child development experts are happy because they believe these measures will protect the mental and physical wellbeing of minors.

With China being a huge player in the TV and movie industry worldwide, it will be interesting to see what impact this has on other countries' media regulations and the impact it will have on China's national media revenue.

Is it an issue we need to talk about in Australia, or in other parts of the world? Could child stars who have 'gone off the rails' be protected in broader corners of the world if tighter regulations were brought in? Or will our media industries continue the circulation of popular shows that involve famous and/or rich kids for our entertainment and to feed our celebrity-obsessed culture?