'Are you coming to the orgy?' Check out the hoodie Michael Chen wore on the Chinese reality show 'Keep Running' - SupChina

‘Are you coming to the orgy?’ Check out the hoodie Michael Chen wore on the Chinese reality show ‘Keep Running’

Here’s a bit of fun from usually staid Chinese television: Keep Running (奔跑吧 bēnpǎoba), adapted from South Korea, is a reality TV show currently showing on Zhejiang TV in which celebrities compete in silly contests and do generally silly things, and in last week’s episode — the second episode of Season 2 — audiences were treated to something…unexpected.

It happened a quarter of the way in, when movie star Michael Chen 陈赫 removed his jacket to give to Selina Jen Chia-hsüan 任家萱 of the Taiwanese pop group S.H.E. Underneath his outer garment, Chen was wearing a white hoodie emblazoned with red block text that read “Are you coming to the orgy?”

Depends who’ll be there?

Now, if you’re reading this story in an even slightly socially liberal country, you might wonder, Orgies, what’s the big deal, they were shocking maybe 100 years ago? You’re right, of course, this really is nothing, but China is decidedly not socially liberal, and when it comes to mass entertainment, it’s quite the opposite: more like fanatically modest, autocratically petty. The overseers of Chinese TV — the hidebound turds who make up the State Administration of Radio and Television (SART) — are stodgy dyed-in-the-wool conservatives who almost certainly one hundred percent disapprove strongly of orgies. The top screenshot comes from Douban user @螃蟹|豆瓣矗男, who wrote, “If I’m the first to notice this screenshot, this can make the news.”

He’s right, it can!

It’s within the limits of remote possibility that no one at Zhejiang Television or Keep Running knows English. But I’d like to think it’s much more likely that the showrunners are being deliberately arch, subtly devious. In the accompanying graphic, inserted in postproduction, the red text reads, “Hope my jacket can warm your heart.” And just as Chen removes his jacket, you can see Ryan Zheng 郑恺, a fellow actor and contestant on the show, blurt out, “What…what is this??”

(If the name Ryan Zheng sounds familiar to you, it’s because he was the lead in CCTV’s infamous Spring Festival Africa skit. You know: that one. You can be sure he knows English.)

I watched a bit of Keep Running and can say it makes no sense to me, but maybe I’m just old. I fall outside of the show‘s demographic in more ways than one. But it tries to be fun, which I can understand, and anytime someone can put a thumb in SART’s Sauronesque eye — even if inadvertently — they’ll get a head-nod from me.

The hoodie, by the way, can be purchased from Fake Tokyo for $150.

We’ve cued up the clip for you in the embed below. Enjoy.

H/T Jiayun Feng

Anthony Tao

Anthony is the Asia managing editor of SupChina. Follow him @anthonytao

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