Updated: Feb 23, 2021
As someone who worked in the television and film industry for 34 years, my interest in Hollywood and its ways have long been in my rear view mirror. Nothing they say or do really surprises me and never really did. I once had the Vice President of a major studio’s television division tell me that John Sigler, President of the NRA at the time, should be jailed along with everyone else in this country who owned a gun. All the while continuing to produce television shows that featured gun violence. But we wouldn’t want to do anything that would affect the gross profits, would we?
This brings me to the subject of Hollywood and China. Did you know that China controls what Americans Watch? Under the Donald Trump administration, Hollywood came under fire for its cozy relationship with the Communist Chinese dictators.
The American box office revenue sits at about 11 billion dollars a year. The Chinese box office revenue for Hollywood is about 8.6 billion dollars a year. So with a population of 1.3 billion and an appetite for American films, those numbers will undoubtably change.
So now in order to play in that market, Hollywood studios have to submit their script beforehand to Chinese censors. Some film productions have these Chinese censors right on the set during filming. The censors then make changes to the script and change the movie in order to portray China as not the dictatorship that it is.
China has something called the three T’s, Tiananmen, Taiwan and Tibet. Tiananmen, famously known for the killing of thousands of innocent peaceful protesters in Tiananmen square in 1989.
Taiwan, which is a separate island and technically is still a part of China, continues to push towards its independence.
And Tibet, which after China’s invasion in 1950, continues its fight for freedom. They’re all just a part of China’s censorship. Any mention of the 3 T’s in a Hollywood script and it gets the ax.
Richard Gere, one of Hollywood's golden boys hasn’t been in a major film for a while now. Why? Because Richard Gere regards the Dalai Lama’s presence as a very precious gift to the world and he is not going to stop exposing the brutalities of the Chinese government against the human rights of the Tibetans inside Tibet. Hey, Don’t mess with that box office revenue.
Middle Kingdom Business Consultants, a firm that focuses on helping companies, government entities, and individual investors to pursue business interests in China and the United States, have scooped up production companies and theater chains by the billions. In 2014 Dalian Wanda Group a real estate and entertainment conglomerate owned by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, scooped up AMC Movie Theaters for the price of 2.6 billion. They also purchased Dick Clark Productions for 1 billion dollars.
China is purchasing American media companies at a fever pitch all in an effort in this writer’s opinion, to control what we watch. They want to cover up the world’s view to their abuse of human rights and to advance their goal of world dominance. What better way than to control global media.
Hollywood studios have become increasingly addicted to Chinese investment and moviegoers as they search for ever bigger profits. But that investment comes with a price. I'm not for Government regulation on Hollywood doing their dirty business with China. Hollywood companies are private entities and the government, within certain bounds, should not have that reach.
However, I think if Chinese censorship has anything to do with the making of an American production it should be stated in the credits and I think it should be stated right upfront.
There needs to be transparency. The American people have a right to know about the wedding plans for Hollywood and China.
Written by Walt Ryba February 22, 2021