Zooming in on Hollywood's China Connection
Don’t be fooled by the Americans behind the camera. In today’s Hollywood, there’s one director — and that’s China. As important as U.S. audiences are, filmmakers know there’s a bigger one. And they’re willing to do anything they can to tap into it, even if it means becoming co-conspirators with one of the most evil censorship operations in the world.
It’s the biggest partnership no one knows about, and according to some experts, the most dangerous. The majority of Americans probably have no idea when they buy a ticket to the latest blockbuster that the film they’re about to see was either partially financed by China or altered because of it. In the last several years, there hasn’t been a more powerful influence over Hollywood than the communist regime — and with Chinese ticket sales set to overtake the U.S., the situation is only going to get worse.
There’s a sinister side to all of this, which is that the more Hollywood relies on China’s market to make movies, the more those movies are going to cater to the country’s demands. The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez has been tracking the major revolution in filmmaking because of the Chinese market and thinks more Americans need to be paying attention. “Hollywood does all kinds of things to make sure they have a slice of the Chinese pie,” he told listeners on “Washington Watch.” “And they’re quite open about it. They don’t hide it. They’re quite happy to submit to the censorship of the Chinese Communist Party.”
“It goes something like this,” he explained. “In order for the U.S. film to crack the Chinese market, certain themes cannot be portrayed, certain products must be taken out, and certain speech must be limited.” The process has become so rigorous that a lot of studios are actually flying over these Chinese censors to sit in on filming. In some instances, entire scripts have been changed — either to conform to the communists’ messaging or showcase China in the best possible light. Others try to save themselves the time and money of those overhauls by just co-producing their movies with the Chinese from the start — including, in 2018, some of the biggest box office successes: Mission: Impossible: Fallout, Venom, The MEG, and Pacific Rim: Uprising.
The obvious result of all this, Mike argues, is that “American audiences are being submitted to censorship — not our own censorship, but a foreign power’s censorship — and a Communist Party censorship. We get shown a very benign view of China, in which China is a normal country, no different from Paris, or Britain, or Germany. That isn’t the case obviously. If you speak against the government in Germany, nothing happens to you. If you speak against the government in China, they’ll throw you in jail.”
By letting China call the shots, these filmmakers have actually become complicit in the attack on free expression — their expression. Just think about it, Mike said. “How come there’s never been a movie about the Tiananmen Square massacre? That was drama there. There were students who were crushed by soldiers. There was blood, there was death, there was scheming. And yet Hollywood has never made a movie about Tiananmen. Why? Because any studio who makes a movie about Tiananmen knows that will be shut out forever from the Chinese box office market.”
This is a country with such suffocating strictness that even Winnie the Pooh is banned. Why? Because the government is worried he’ll be compared to President Xi Jinping. (Maybe they don’t want the world’s worst human rights abusers to look soft.) Either way, Hollywood is going along with it, prostituting its voice — and America’s influence — in the process.
Of course, most people probably aren’t surprised that Tinseltown would sell its soul to make a few bucks. What they are amazed by is all of the political sanctimony from filmmakers here at home. This is an industry in partnership with the Chinese government, a notoriously brutal regime, who’s turning around and telling places like Georgia: We’re not doing business with you because you passed pro-life laws.
Unbelievable. Hollywood has no problem climbing down from its moral high horse to sell tickets in China — where people are being viciously tortured and killed — but decides it can’t possibly ally itself with states that protect their own people. They’d rather be a puppet of the communist state and its nightmarish record on human rights than support a democratic process that saves lives. That’s 100-percent hypocrisy no matter what language you speak.
If the entertainment industry wants to wrap itself in the Chinese flag, that’s literally their business. Just don’t be shocked when the alliance backfires. Because in a world of bad actors, the People’s Republic is the worst.
Originally published here.
AMA Issues Shot against Parental Consent
In most papers, it wasn’t even a major headline. Just a blip in the national news. But beware, conservatives warn. This “blip” could turn into the next big ground campaign in the war on parents’ rights.
There’ve been plenty of debates over vaccinations — but very few have taken this twist. Earlier this week, the American Medical Association held its annual meeting in Chicago, and one of the issues they tackled is whether minors should be able to override their parents’ objections and get vaccinated. The AMA voted yes, triggering a national lobbying campaign for more states to change their policies on consent.
Today, it’s vaccinations. Tomorrow, Dr. David Stevens told listeners on “Washington Watch,” it could be anything. “This is not a debate about vaccinations, and whether or not they’re good or not” the president of the Christian Medical and Dental Association warned listeners.“ This is more of a focus on who knows best what’s [good] for their children in terms of making medical choices.”
The AMA argued that there were too many young patients who hadn’t been protected against certain diseases and conditions. In the group’s press release, they imply that parents have been duped by misinformation and that children are better equipped to make that decision. “Allowing mature minors to provide informed consent to vaccinations will ensure these patients can access this type of preventive care.”
But what, exactly, is a “mature” minor? In some states, it’s a child as young as 14 — a teenager who is still too young to have the final say on a health question this important. After all, we don’t allow “mature minors” to drive at 14. We don’t allow “mature minors” to buy alcohol or cigarettes or to own a gun. And yet, as we’ve seen with abortion and parental consent, there are certain things the Left wants to carve out and leave to the children — issues that have a major impact on their future well-being.
Of course, this also isn’t the only debate raging over parents’ authority in health care. We’ve seen the abortion industry pour millions of dollars into state battles over consent laws as a down payment on future business. But this slippery slope also has major implications for an LGBT agenda. As Dr. Stevens points out, we’ve already seen children taken away from their parents because they refused to give their son or daughter transgender surgery or hormones at age 11 or 12. At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic, moms and dads aren’t always allowed in interviews because they might make their children feel uncomfortable asking questions.
And that’s not the only horror story. Attorney Jennifer Chavez is representing multiple clients, most of them liberal, whose gender-confused kids were either indoctrinated or medically altered without their knowledge. In one case, a 14-year-old girl with a history of trauma “out of the blue, announced that she was male. She accused her parents of child abuse when they refused to call her a male name and use male pronouns. Though they were investigated and found to be supportive, they were forced by the Department of Child Services to meet with a transgender adult who could ‘educate’ them on these issues.”
In another heart-wrenching story, a mother wrote, “Without my knowledge, a pediatric endocrinologist taught my daughter, a minor, to inject herself with testosterone. She then ran away to Oregon where state law at the age of 17 allowed her… undergo a double mastectomy and radical hysterectomy… The level of outrage and rage I’m experiencing as a mother is indescribable. Why does Oregon law allow children to make life-altering medical decisions? …Why are doctors who took an oath to first do no harm allowed to sterilize and surgically mutilate mentally ill, delusional children?”
She was 17. Another “mature minor,” as far as the AMA is concerned. There’s an entire generation of children crying out for their parents to fight for them — including some who walked down this dangerous path and regret it. Children are not miniature adults, Dr. Michelle Cretella is fond of saying. It’s time we stop treating them as such.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.