The Chinese film industry is reportedly on track to “usurp” Hollywood, thanks in large part to Hollywood’s own stunningly eager willingness to bend at the knee in service to the East Asian country’s communist government and its demands for loyalty and censorship.
“China has led Hollywood down the path of submission to a state censorship apparatus whose standards are as murky and unpredictable as those of most democratic countries are clear and consistent,” Boston College humanities scholar Martha Bayles wrote in a recent piece for The Atlantic.
Why though does Hollywood bend the knee to China? Because Hollywood is a left-wing institution, and as a left-wing institution, its members keep placing the interests and wants of foreign nations over the interests and needs of their own countrymen.
And they keep doing this under the guise of advocating for so-called “free trade” — something that their shared arch-nemesis, President Donald Trump, has never been a big fan of.
I smile at Senators and others talking about how good free trade is for the U.S. What they don’t say is that we lose Jobs and over 800 Billion Dollars a year on really dumb Trade Deals….and these same countries Tariff us to death. These lawmakers are just fine with this!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
“[W]hen faced with foreign governments lobbying the World Trade Organization to curb Hollywood’s dominance of their film markets, the standard American response has been to bluster that film is a commodity like any other, and that to define it as cultural expression is to violate the sacred principle of free trade,” Bayles explained.
Except that this “free trade” has transformed into total submission.
Case in point: Bayles notes how Hollywood has gone “from exporting U.S.-made films into China, to co-producing films with China in America, to co-producing films with China in China.”
“At each stage, the American producers received a greater share of the revenue — and submitted to a greater degree of control by the Chinese authorities,” Bayles wrote.
Meanwhile, there’s “been a migration of individual film professionals, including not just actors but also hundreds of ‘below-the-line’ workers (cinematographers, composers, visual effects supervisors, action coordinators, and the like) into the Chinese film industry—which is to say, into the Chinese propaganda machine.”
It’s a striking discovery, particularly given the lengths to which Hollywood goes to disrespect its own country, the United States of America. The denizens of Hollywood have downplayed America’s role in world history, disrespected the national anthem and accused their own president and his officials of committing the most heinous (and quite fictional) atrocities.
Meanwhile, they say nothing about China’s human rights abuses, intellectual property theft and wide-scale censorship. In fact, they’ve chosen to participate in the censorship instead. And not just in China but in practically every other country on the face of the Earth.
“Today, Hollywood is the freest film industry on earth, but only enjoys that freedom fully in the United States,” Bayles pointed out. “In most other countries, from the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia, a government body euphemistically called a “film classification board” must approve every film, foreign and domestic, before it can be shown in theaters. Thus, Hollywood has been negotiating with foreign censors for as long as it has been exporting films—about 100 years.”
Granted, its relationship with China, in particular, is especially bad.
— @HerbertReed on Parler (@Herbert_L_Reed) May 18, 2019
Testifying before Congress in May, National Endowment for Democracy vice president for studies and analysis Christopher Walker warned that China has Hollywood by the unmentionables.
“The Chinese government has trained its attention on Hollywood, where its presence shapes the industry in ways both visible and unseen,” he said. “Because China is an increasingly important market for the global film industry, entertainment firms have been striking deals that help give them access to that market, but put them at the mercy of Chinese censors.”
“This leads to content either edited to fit the Chinese market, or proactively shaped to exclude anything the Chinese government might consider sensitive in the first place. Chinese co-productions are also more likely to feature positive depictions of China.”
China has essentially been using Hollywood to enrich and promote itself and its highly skewed, widely criticized ideals, i.e., Communism, censorship, control, power, uniformity, etc.
If you’re interested, you may watch the whole hearing below:
The only good news is that, according to Bayles, some in Hollywood recognize what’s happening and would like to see change. The problem is that they represent the minority of the minority. Meanwhile, the majority is loathed to admit that their arch-nemesis has a point about “free trade.”
“Some people in Hollywood understand what is happening and would very much like to stop China from chipping away at their industry’s hard-won freedom. But unfortunately, the deep-blue movie colony is deeply averse to doing anything that agrees, or seems to agree, with the political agenda of Donald Trump,” she wrote in concluding her piece.
And so if sticking it to the president means sacrificing its dignity, throwing its country under the bus and losing money and influence, then so be it, or so say the denizens of Hollywood.
“Over the next five years, China’s absolute growth in entertainment and media will exceed that of the US for the first time. In that period, the US will add US$71bn (a 2.5% CAGR), while China will add US$84bn (a 7.7% CAGR),” a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found.
Oh well …
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