Women on and Behind Chinese Entertainment Television: De/Constructing the Female Authorship of National Treasure

Theresa Trimmel, Tianyang Zhou, Ming Zhang, Eve Ng

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Abstract

Women have been enjoying new forms of visibility in post-2010 Chinese entertainment television, not just onscreen, but also in paratextual discourses about women as content producers. By focusing on the promotional and reception materials about a female director/producer, Yu Lei, and her authorship in National Treasure (NT), a current Chinese variety show, this article analyzes how extratextual material operates in relation to female authorship in Chinese television. By examining how gender politics are incorporated in the construction of female authorship, we identify the problematic aspects of how Yu Lei’s authorship is framed, which serve to promote neoliberal postfeminist ideas of women’s empowerment and are bound up with current iterations of official neonationalist ideology. While acknowledging its limitations, we argue that Yu Lei’s position as a woman in a male-dominated industry who has substantial visibility in media and enjoys some authority over a TV production still constitutes noteworthy if only partial agency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393–410
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication, Culture & Critique
Volume15
Issue number3
Early online date5 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • women
  • TV
  • China
  • Feminist theory
  • Nationalism

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