Authoritarian governments hate hip-hop. Not only do they not consider it music, but they fear its subversive, disruptive and, well, anti-authoritarian attitudes and image.
Chinese officials are most annoyed with any exhibition of hip-hop culture. In 2018, the media ministry issued an order that TV stations never, ever show celebrities tattoos as well as other elements of “hip-hop culture, sub-culture, and immoral culture.”
The ban has now extended to men’s ears.
Observers of Chinese TV started noticing something weird every time pop singers and male icons were show in close-up. Look at this dude’s left ear.
Why would it be blurred out? Because he’s wearing an earring. That, apparently, is now considered trappings of subversive and anti-communist hip-hop culture.
There hasn’t been a statement from anyone in the media ministry about the blurred earlobes, but those who know something about how the system works say that this is consistent with the government’s insistence that gender roles be defined and preserved. In other words, earrings for woman = good, earrings for men = bad.
Read more at Oddity Central.