A pro-Beijing politician in Hong Kong has claimed that the hit TV show Ossan’s Love, which features a same-sex love triangle, violates China’s national security law because it promotes homosexuality.
Junius Ho, a lawyer and a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, ranted about the series during Hong Kong’s annual book fair Sunday (18 July).
The Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported that Ho described Ossan’s Love as “sugar-coated marijuana” that promoted “childless families”, which he claimed goes against Chinese security law and its three-child policy.
However, as HKFP reported, neither China‘s national security law nor its national laws concerning raising children apply in Hong Kong.
Ossan’s Love – which literally means “Uncle’s Love” – is the first mainstream Hong Kong TV drama to feature a same-sex romance as the central storyline.
A remake of the popular 2016 Japanese drama of the same name, it follows protagonist Tin, who discovers that his boss KK is in love with him.
KK eventually confesses his love for Tin, promising to divorce his wife to be with him.
When Tin confides in his friends about KK’s love, his flatmate Muk confesses he is also in love with him. Hilarity ensues.
Ossan’s Love is the first mainstream TV drama in Hong Kong to feature a same-sex romance as the central storyline. The series is a remake of a popular Japanese drama of the same name. (ViuTV)
Tommy Jai, a spokesperson for Rainbow Action, slammed Ho’s condemnation for Ossan’s Love and his anti-LGBT+ statements. Jai told the HKFP: “Junius Ho is not only ignorant but also homophobic on same-sex issues.”
Despite Ho’s protests, the series has become incredibly popular since it premiered on ViuTV in June. Variety reported Ossan’s Love has recorded an average viewership of more than 450,000 in July, making it the channel’s highest-rated series.
Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous area, but there has been growing conflict between China and the city’s government over judicial control.
China imposed a separate national security law in Hong Kong in June 2020 after massive pro-democracy protests swept the city, according to the BBC. The controversial law reduces Hong Kong’s judicial autonomy.
According to the BBC, the Chinese government insisted the law is needed to increase security and stability in the city. However, activists argue the law violated the “one country, two systems” principle between Hong Kong and the mainland.
Widespread discrimination towards LGBT+ people in Hong Kong has also caused concern over the city hosting the 2022 Gay Games, the first time the LGBT+ sporting and cultural event will be held in Asia.
Just last year, the Hong Kong courts handed down both a victory and a defeat to LGBT+ rights. One verdict said queer people deserve equal homeownership rights, but another refused to legally recognise same-sex marriage.