Usually cautious police show's venture into gay drama becomes a YouTube hit
with Alex Lo
Police Report, the weekly public television show by Asia's finest that dramatises real-life crime cases, is known for being conservative and rarely attracts controversy. But a recent episode, which has been making the rounds on YouTube and has been dubbed 'the lure of beauty' by bloggers, has taken on what for some people is still a taboo subject: homosexual relationships.
The episode dramatises the story of a man who has met someone on the internet and then meets him in person for the first time outside a Shenzhen train station. In a high-pitched effeminate voice, the suspect publicly flirts with the victim and then pretends to have hurt his knee. They walk together back to the suspect's apartment, where the victim is given a spiked drink. When he wakes up, he finds himself gagged and tied up - and he doesn't appear to be enjoying it. Two muscular men then jump on him, to the consternation of his supposed friend, who feigns being shocked and tells the two men to take it easy on lover boy. The trio demand HK$200,000 and call his mother in Hong Kong for the cash. The programme's host then warns viewers to be careful about contacting people they have met on the internet.
The episode has attracted more than 80,000 viewings on YouTube in less than a week. Some bloggers think the police production is brave, but others describe it as revolting. Some believe the show should not have portrayed a gay relationship onscreen at all, while others think the actors unfairly present a stereotypical image of gay men as effeminate and whiney.
We will let the episode speak for itself.