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Lhasa Jokhang Temple, Tibet, China
Lhasa Jokhang Temple, Tibet, China

How China Controls Hollywood — and Your Mind?

That is, if you pay any attention to Hollywood’s products

King’s College prof Robert Carle offers some thought about China and Hollywood at MercatorNet. On an elaborate apology tour (his words) Disney boasted that few people had seen its Kundun film.

Good business strategy? Hey, it gets worse:

By the turn of the century, Hollywood directors and producers had learned not to broach subjects (Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tiananmen) that offend the Communist Chinese. They had also standardised a lobbying process to get China’s approval for its films. Early in the movie’s life cycle, international distributors meet with Chinese film bureau officials. American studios have to satisfy layers of Chinese bureaucrats before a movie hits the market.

Schwartzel recounts dozens of stories of how American films have been edited by Chinese censors. Some of these changes were minor; others required the rewriting of whole scripts. The 2015 movie Pixels deleted a scene in which the Great Wall gets destroyed. (The Taj Mahal is blown up instead.) The Chinese version of Top Gun removed the Japanese and Taiwanese flags from Tom Cruise’s jacket. In the original cut of 2006’s Mission Impossible III, Tom Cruise chases villains through the streets of Shanghai. At China’s request, Paramount Pictures cut from the movie scenes that depicted Shanghai’s ubiquitous clotheslines.

Robert Carle, “How China is taking over Hollywood” at MercatorNet (April 13, 2022)

Here’s the Kundun trailer about religious persecution of Tibetan Buddhists:

The film is here for now.


You may also wish to read: COVID-19 response exposes racism in China, amid harmony claims. The lid blew off when African leaders broke the accustomed silence imposed by their dependence on Chinese high-tech loans. Many African residents of Guangzhou feel they are targeted so that Chinese authorities can blame new cases of the virus on the African population.


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How China Controls Hollywood — and Your Mind?