China's LGBT groups are demanding a public apology from a video streaming platform for calling "homosexuality" a "wrong concept of love."
Beijing-based online video provider Leshi Internet Information and Technology Corp, better known as LeTV, said in a statement on Friday that videos containing certain content are forbidden on the platform, including the "wrong concept of love, such as homosexuality and extramarital affairs."
The statement was widely criticized by Chinese LGBT groups, including the Beijing LGBT Center and Tongzhi Zhisheng (Voice of LGBT). Many netizens claimed they would not use Letv anymore for such a "stupid" statement.
LeTV later deleted the word "homosexuality" and only said "wrong concept of love" is forbidden in LeTV videos.
Xiao Tie, a Beijing LGBT Center employee, said they are still demanding an open apology from LeTv even if the company has changed the wording in its statement. She told the Global Times that silencing LGBT groups on media will deepen public discrimination against this group.
"It's not about LeTV alone, Chinese video platforms are all banning LGBT. We want our voice to be heard by the public," she said.
LeTV has yet to respond to a Global Times request for an interview as of press time.
The LeTV statement also said that videos should not contain vulgarity, violence, and content that defames police, soldiers and teachers.
Before LeTV, streaming platform iQiyi and Sohu TV also issued similar statements last week.
In November 2016, China's top media watchdog ordered more than 60 online movies from video streaming websites removed for containing vulgarity and violence, with an insider saying that "such large-scale removal is unprecedented."
The China Television Drama Production Industry Association and the China Television Production Committee of the China Alliance of Radio, Film and Television jointly recommended in 2015 that certain types of content should not be shown on TV series, such as same-sex romance, extramarital affairs and one-night stands.
In 2015, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television ordered the removal of an episode featuring a Taiwan celebrity's loneliness being an openly gay man for 14 years since "it is inappropriate to discuss the topic in public media."