Hollywood had an ace in the hole when they pumped out their Anti-American propaganda pieces … they could always depend on the Chinese market. Well, that’s no longer the case.
The ‘woke’ corporations in America that would make bold pronouncements about not filming in any states that oppose the lastest trending Democrat cause (bathroom policy, voting laws, whatever) always managed to misplace those scruples when it came time to acknowledge the internment camps and forced sterilizations occurring in Xi’s China.
Rather than do anything to offend them, however, we have embarrassing episodes like John Cena’s sadly emasculating apology (delivered in Chinese, no less) for making the factual statement that Taiwan was to be the first country in which his Fast And Furious film would be airing.
That was hardly an isolated incident. The (forced) removal of the Taiwan patch from the Top Gun jacket, CCP’s strongarming of the NBA, and the firing of an American hotel employee for the ‘sin’ of ‘liking’ a pro-Taiwan social media post are among the others.
Disney went so far as to thank China after using the same province that enslaves the Ughyurs in camps to film the live-action version of Mulan. There was some public backlash over that, but not so much that they were willing to denounce any of China’s atrocities.
Now, we get to watch Hollywood learn the lesson laid out in the famous line that paraphrased a longer Churchill quote: ‘An appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.’
While COVID fears still grip many Western moviegoers, theaters in China have already roared back to life, and are busy making bank. Hollywood, meanwhile, is surprised to find itself increasingly frozen out of the action.
Thanks to a relatively quick pandemic recovery, the Chinese box office looks appealing as ever. Ticket sales surpassed the virus-stricken United States last year; over the week-long February New Year holiday, they set a new record of $1.2 billion, according to online movie ticketing service Maoyan Entertainment (1896.HK). But that hasn’t trickled into Hollywood. Summer blockbusters including the superhero hit starring Scarlett Johansson, as well as “Jungle Cruise” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy” have yet to be released in China.
The holdup comes amid a renewed censorship campaign that has targeted everything from video games to karaoke songs to online videos. President Xi Jinping also wants to reduce foreign cultural influence in China: authorities have restricted foreigners from live-streaming on video apps, cut cooperation with educational institutions abroad, and prevented Chinese students from studying with overseas tutors via online services. Recently, officials in Beijing barred foreign textbooks in primary and junior high schools. In a prescient move, Disney quietly shut down its highly popular English-language centres last year, blaming the pandemic and the shift to online classes, according to local media.
Local film-makers are exploiting the situation. Even before Hollywood studios were disrupted by shutdowns, eight out of the 10 highest grossing movies in China in 2019 were domestic, according to Box Office Mojo. It may not be long before Hollywood finds itself written out of its own China romance. — Reuters
Just like every other industry China has hijacked. Their endgame was never a partnership, it was parasitic. Leverage outside help to build their own version of the industry and then, once they outlived their usefulness, leave their ‘partners’ holding the bag.
The thing that makes this story a little bit funny is that Hollywood has treated people (both in the industry and their viewers) exactly the same way for who knows how long? Xi just gave Hollywood itself the ‘casting couch’ experience… and is now kicking them to the curb with neither their self-respect nor the money for which they were willing to part with it.