Hollywood Sells Its Soul to China's Censors

Hollywood Sells Its Soul to China's Censors

You see, Hollywood isn’t liberal — not in the classic sense. This is not a community that believes in human liberty or freedom. Like Barack Obama and the mainstream media, Hollywood only uses liberalism as a vehicle for the kind of big government totalitarianism that always benefits and enriches and empowers anyone, including big business, willing to play along.

It’s all about money and the control of others.

Today, here in America, Hollywood can pretty much make whatever film it wishes. From Michael Moore’s anti-American propaganda to hardcore porn. There are really no limits outside of snuff films and child pornography.  But Hollywood will still pitch a fit over what they describe as censorship if the MPAA delivers an R-rating instead of a PG-13. But that’s not really a principled stand against censorship, that’s a decision based on greed. PG-13 films make more money than R-rated films. In many cases, that phony cry of censorship is also based on the culture wars. Hollywood wants as many young minds as possible to see their product.

The bottom line is that these people cry censorship at the drop of a hat and never fail to describe the days of the old Production Code as oppressive and puritanical. In reality, though, leftist Hollywood represents greed, control, and the very worst evils of big business. Nothing proves that more than their unprincipled zeal to open up China’s markets. Not only are these so-called human rights activists eager to do business with a government that forces women to have abortions (so much for “reproductive rights”), but they’re also willing to censor and shape their own product to suit a totalitarian government:

“Chinese-Hollywood co-productions are vehicles for Beijing to dictate the China narrative outside its borders.”

Liu says that Beijing has made no secret of its eagerness to build that narrative through movies, and points to a recent plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party endorsing guidelines to boost what it calls “cultural security,” by “propelling Chinese culture overseas.”

To do this, Beijing says it will double its entertainment and cultural earnings to roughly $460 billion within the next five years.

Critics claim that studios will be pressured to produce works that depict China in a sympathetic light, a fear prompted by China’s strict controls over film importation, distribution and production, along with the rebuffing of recent WTO rulings to allow foreign distribution and expand a 20-a-year cap on foreign movies.

“They made it very clear in their last congress meeting that the overriding theme would be projecting an image overseas that they want projected, while Hollywood’s No.1 concern has always been the bottom line,” says Michael Berry, a lecturer of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara.

“U.S. producers are taking an ultra-conservative route, and self-censorship is happening at a very early stage. In concept development there’s already an understanding of what will fly in China, and that gets concentrated by the time it gets to a screenplay.”

And what flies in China today isn’t very much.

Beijing’s thumbscrew restrictions include: No sex, religion, time travel, the occult, or “anything that could threaten public morality or portray criminal behavior.”

All film scripts have to be signed off by a government censor and anything that depicts Tibet, Tiananmen Square, the Dalai Lama, Falun Gong, Uyghur separatists or Taiwan favorably is typically banned.

For Hollywood, however, the proof is still in the numbers. Turnstile revenues in China skyrocketed by 64 percent to $1.5 billion, and have surged nearly tenfold since 2003.

This isn’t just about films produced for Chinese audiences, either. This is about films produced for all of us. In other words, if Hollywood wants to produce a mainstream American film that will also play in China, Chinese censors will dictate the content of that film.

In some cases, the studio might be able to produce two versions or edit out anything disqualifying, but much of what the Chinese object to isn’t so much about content as it is theme.

If it wasn’t for their desire for money and to hold power over the rest of us, Hollywood would have no principles at all.

Have you ever noticed that the worst people in the world control almost everything?


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