Political expert Richard Berman appeared on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon to discuss the USA Today column in which he exposed Communist China’s infiltration of the American film industry.
“What’s going on here is a strategic play by China that’s flying under the radar, where they know that they can’t come into the United States and buy a defense firm. They can’t buy the New York Times. But what they’re doing is that they’re buying up all the movie theaters in Washington. They’re buying all the movie theaters in New York. They’re buying all the movie theaters in small towns across the United States,” Berman explained.
“When you buy up movie theaters, you also buy up movie production companies, which they’ve already started to do,” he continued. “You get to control what people see when they go to the theaters. If you put out a movie that China doesn’t like – they have a censorship agency in China, it’s a mouthful, but it’s called the State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China. It’s a pretty big mouthful. They determine whether or not films will be shown in China, and they will soon be determining whether or not films will be shown in the United States.”
“They’ve already got a record of changing films,” he noted. “If you want to show something in China — they have changed ‘The Martian,’ they have changed ‘Transformers,’ they’ve changed ‘Red Dawn,’ they’ve changed ‘Mission Impossible 3.’ They’ve said to the producers: if you want to show a film that we don’t like, you can show it someplace else, but not in our theaters.”
Berman said the Chinese “already own AMC Theaters. They’re trying to buy Carmike this week. Yesterday they announced they have bought Odeon, which is a major film distribution company in England. They own theaters in Australia.”
“They’re basically taking over the soft communications power of the West,” he warned.
Bannon pointed out that it’s already almost impossible to secure financing for a major motion picture that doesn’t meet the standards of censorship-happy international markets like China, citing the infamous example of the “Red Dawn” remake, which was digitally altered at ridiculous expense to replace the Chinese villains with North Koreans.
“This whole thing is so bizarre, but the most bizarre thing to me is that no one in our government is spending any time being worried about this,” Berman said. “As I said, they’re about to buy Carmike, the deal is supposed to go down at the end of this week. The two boards are meeting. And these guys are gonna control so much more than you think. They already own Legendary Films, which is the people that made the Batman trilogy. They’re trying to buy a piece of Lionsgate, which are the people that made ‘The Hunger Games.’”
“It is so insidious, and they’re also doing it with radio transmission,” he added. “They are now controlling a lot of the airtime on major AM radio stations around the country.”
Berman thought China was likely to intensify its efforts to control America’s soft communication systems and cultural outlets as a populist mood, skeptical of international trade agreements — particularly those involving China — sweeps the United States.
“Nothing happens until people are aware, until they demand political change,” he said. “I do believe this plays into what is a generally strongly-felt belief that we are losing control of our own country. You can’t go into China and buy their movie theaters. You can’t go into China and buy anything that they think is strategic. But they come over here, and we don’t have any rules against that kind of stuff.”
“As I said, they couldn’t come over here and buy Lockheed, but they can come over here and buy into, or buy up, some of our soft communications assets. People need to see this as part and parcel of all this other stuff that Trump’s talking about,” Berman urged, referring to presidential candidate Donald Trump’s critique of free trade and the loss of American sovereignty.
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