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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…

kung fu bamboo stick.jpg
kung fu bamboo stick.jpg

Mulan: Disney Talks Freedom at Home, Toes the Line in China

Films we see get altered in subtle and not-so-subtle ways to conform to the requirements of CCP propaganda

China’s government allows only about thirty-four Hollywood movies to be shown in Chinese theaters. As a result, entertainment companies like Disney go out of their way to make sure a film appeals to both North American crowds and Chinese Communist Party’s censors. Of course, what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) allows and doesn’t allow in films is vague and subject to change, which keeps foreign film-makers guessing. Mulan, Disney’s latest attempt to please both the North American and the Chinese market, has failed to do either, for a number of reasons. Financially, Disney is already hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Theaters in the U.S. either remain closed or permit only limited-capacity seating. In response, Disney released Mulan on its streaming…