Chinese Communist Party (CCP) knows the extent to which Hollywood is dependent on China’s box office. This is why every movie which comes out of Hollywood has to make sure that it is CCP-friendly. Aware of its influence, China has now called for censoring Oscars broadcast in an attempted threat to Hollywood to not give Oscar to “Do Not Split”, a documentary based on Hong Kong.
According to sources familiar with the directive, Beijing’s media regulators ordered local news outlets not to air live coverage of the Oscars ceremony and to tone down their coverage of the event overall. The boycott of the Oscars, which have a significant Chinese viewership, is thought to be in reaction to the nomination of the short documentary, Do Not Split, which addresses the 2019 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, as well as ongoing official unease about past statements attributed to Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao, who is nominated in the best director category for Nomadland.
The film follows the increase in physical violence and growing desperation by the pro-democracy camp after the extradition law was abandoned, only to be replaced in June 2020 with a Beijing-imposed National Security Law. It also discusses the erosion of rights of freedom of expression and the media. The gag order to censor Do Not Split and signalling threat in an event of the movie winning Oscars illustrates how thin-skinned the CCP is and how politics dictates almost every aspect of entertainment, culture and the arts in mainland China and former British colony Hong Kong.
China now holds the title of the world’s largest movie box office. According to data from Artisan Gateway, movie ticket revenues in China for 2020 reached $1.988 billion, surpassing the $1.937 billion in North America. The distance was predicted to have expanded considerably by year’s end. The figures reflect a historic shift: since the inception of the motion picture industry, North America has been the worldwide box office’s centre of gravity.
Given the dependence of Hollywood on the Chinese box office, to protect its commercial interests, Hollywood has taken great care not to offend the sentiments of China’s Communist regime. Although the film industry in the United States has been outspoken in its criticism of former President Donald Trump, the protests in other democracies as well as for raising LGBTQ+ awareness, the Chinese Communist Party and the dictatorial government in Beijing has been out of their radar all the while. The fact that it has given Communist China a pass on its atrocious treatment of its minorities, especially Uyghur Muslims is not a mere coincident.
Walt Disney Studios, which is one of the production houses that earn a handsome amount of total revenue from China, made a movie named ‘Mulan’ with Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei in the lead role. ‘Mulan’ is a remake of a hit 1998 film of the same name which was based on Chinese folklore and promoted “Chinese values”. Disney pumped 200 million dollars in the film and expected it to earn at least 1 billion dollars.
The movie had garnered heavy controversy as it was filmed in Xinjiang, the Chinese province where the Uyghur minority is being “reeducated” in the concentration camps. In the credits, Disney Studios thanked the Xinjiang government for allowing them to shoot in the province.
Read more: Disney wanted to make a movie that made China happy and money at the same time. It has made a BIG mess instead
Understanding the scale of influence China has over Hollywood any movie which comes out of the industry with a narrative that speaks truth to life regarding the atrocious Chinese communist regime will be beaten into oblivion and this is one of the many examples to come.
Leave a Reply