Must Read: How Much Influence Does China Have On Hollywood?

Written By BlabberBuzz | Friday, 18 February 2022 14:00
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Hollywood’s dependence on revenue generated through Chinese markets has meant the industry has not just become beholden to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) yet has inadvertently added to human rights abuses in China, the new book "America Second: How America's Elites Are Making China Stronger" claims.

According to the book, strict censorship policies in China have led to movie rewrites, script revisions, and even an increase in stereotyping against Muslims.

"Hollywood is probably the most pro-Beijing sector of U.S. society and certainly of U.S. businesses," Isaac Stone Fish, the book's author, explained to Fox News Digital. "It’s such an influential force in the United States and globally."

"It’s concerning because the Chinese Communist Party focuses so heavily on propaganda as a pillar of its legitimacy – it’s a very important piece of their domestic and global strategy," he went on.

Stone Fish explained that the Chinese government has successfully strong-armed Hollywood to create narratives that reflect China positively.

Furthermore, the CCP has successfully exceeded not just movies and scripts that were critical of China, yet companies, producers, and actors have been stunted for crossing Chinese government talking points.

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The China specialist laid out a trove of Hollywood hits like the James Bond franchise that have repeatedly kowtowed to CCP demands.

"The issue with Hollywood is not, Why isn’t Hollywood denigrating China? The issue is, Why is Hollywood refusing to even countenance the idea of portraying China realistically?" he asked.

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The author announced that to prevent Beijing from cutting parts of movies it declines to show in China, producers have begun adhering to the demands of the Chinese government.

Dozens of leaked emails from 2013 depicted how carefully studio executives consider China’s censorship demands, the book reveals.

"If we only change the China version, we set ourselves up for the press to call us out on this when bloggers invariably compare the versions and realize we changed the China setting just to pacify the market," Sony President Steven O’Dell reportedly wrote.

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It’s not only Chinese villains that have become taboo in Hollywood. Depictions of Chinese cityscapes have become political censorship tools.

Stone Fish – who also sits as CEO of the China-focused risk firm Strategy Risks – pointed to the fact that in the 2012 James Bond hit, Skyfall, Istanbul was depicted as "dusty" and "dirty" while a shot of Shanghai portrayed the city as "futuristic" and full of gleaming skyscrapers.

At the time, Istanbul, a predominately Muslim city, had an average per-capita income that exceeded Shanghai.

The author also pointed out that despite raised tensions with Beijing and Moscow, there has been an increase in Muslim antagonists over the last decade – leading Stone Fisher to argue that CCP demands of pro-China movies have led to discriminatory messaging.

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