A China in the Bull Shop

From Christian Toto at Hollywood in Toto:

And yet you rarely, if ever, hear celebrities critique the Chinese government or specific policies. The industry craves the money Chinese audiences can bring to a project. The nation is the second leading movie market … and rising.

So studios will tweak its films to appease Chinese censors, cast Chinese actors in meaningless roles (see “Kong: Skull Island”) hoping to charm Chinese officials who determine which films can be played in the country.

Which has had the expected effect on the career of critic of China’s human rights record, Richard Gere:

“There are definitely movies that I can’t be in because the Chinese will say, ‘Not with him,’ ” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “I recently had an episode where someone said they could not finance a film with me because it would upset the Chinese.” More.

Reality check: The diminishing attention paid to the Oscar rants against American policies/politicians may track growing awareness that Hollywood is becoming a foreign propaganda spout that one can turn off with no further impact.

See also: Oscar wrong-envelope debacle correlates with declining public interest check: Some back office dweebs have been fired. But, as a general rule, declining systems tend to be top heavy with dweebs, resulting in goofups. The extra publicity gained from the resulting uproar will probably not turn out to be an asset. Too many people will start wondering why they ever cared at all.

Gere now in indie films:

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  • UCSPanther

    Money talks in Hollywood, and Chinese money is very prominent. The Chinese Politboro also hates any kind of criticism and is notoriously thin-skinned.

    In this vein, movies that are even the slightest bit critical of China are liable to be banned in its market. For example, the film adaptation of World War Z leaves out the part of the zombie plague originating in China, and spreading via economic/political refugees and black market organ transplants.

    • Follow the money, that has always been Hollywood’s only loyalty.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Has anyone seen “Norman”? Because any movie that attempts to poke fun at Jews Israel is suspect. And if Richard Gere isn’t playing a millionaire, I’m doubly suspect.

  • deplorabledave

    Call me a grumpy old man but I think all the good movies that were going to be made, have been made. I watch some favourites, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Maltese Falcon to name a few, when I’m in the mood for a good movie. I’ve forsaken movie theatres.

    • Waffle

      Certainly the “old Hollywood” is dead. It’s disintegration started to become evident by the 1990’s when good scripts went into the toilet and special effects became the draw. However, that didn’t stop the indie film makers who are now thriving more than ever with new and less expensive production, distribution and delivery modes. If the Chinese want to pay big bucks to massage their egos and grease their propaganda machine, IIMHO they are more than welcome to Hollywood’s sloppy seconds. The rest of us have moved on — even us “old timers”.

  • A Hamilton Guy

    Richard Gere is not the person who I would go to see in a movie.; but his stance on human rights is commendable