China’s Global Times, a state-controlled publication, asserted this week that Hollywood will destroy itself as it continues to embrace “political correctness” with an increasingly lunatic fervor.
The state-run media outlet cited the recent decision to exclude author J.K. Rowling from the Harry Potter movie anniversary celebration due to her comments on transgender individuals, as well as the Academy Awards’ new diversity quotas, which require ethnic minority representation for best picture consideration.
“If Hollywood continues down this road, it will dig its own grave and destroy its reputation one day,” the Global Times predicted.
The scathing article comes as Beijing is blocking more Hollywood blockbusters from being released in Chinese cinemas in a bid to boost the domestic movie industry. Movies including Disney-Marvel’s Black Widow, The Eternals, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings still do not have release dates in China at press time.
China has surpassed the U.S. as the largest movie market in the world, thanks in large part to the coronavirus pandemic. The top two biggest grossing movies worldwide this year are both from China: the Korean War epic The Battle at Lake Changjin – which promotes anti-American sentiment while lionizing Communist dictator Mao Zedong – and the time-traveling comedy Hi, Mom.
Other Hollywood movies are flopping at the Chinese box office, with Disney’s Jungle Cruise and Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 failing to generate much interest with local audiences.
The Global Times noted that Chinese netizens are mocking the J.K. Rowling controversy as a “joke.”
“Yes, this is ironic: a writer who created the great IP was expelled by those who adapted her work,” the article said.
“Many countries have banned the release of Eternals,” the article said. “They made the decision not to achieve a better performance both in reputation and market, but mainly due to political correctness.”
China has a long history of banning or censoring movies that negatively portray the CCP or address controversial subjects, including religion and sexuality. Communist censors have banned best picture Oscar winner Nomadland reportedly for director Chloe Zhao’s negative comments about growing up in China. (Zhao also directed The Eternals.)
Bohemian Rhapsody was censored upon its Chinese release, with scenes of gay intimacy and drug use excised from the movie.