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Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy – Review

Author:  Erich Schwartzel / Penguin Press Reviewed by Torontoartsandevents:

Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy shows the power that the communism government of China has over the world’s entertainment industries that wish to enter the vast China market.  Movies such as “Top Gun” that have a sizeable budget that require additional income from international market especially China.  Exempt from CCPC’s control are companies like Netflicks that have not been able to get a foothold in China and companies with films with smaller budgets that don’t require a huge international audience and the money that it brings.  Very susceptible are large franchise movies with huge budgets that must submit to Beijing’s review and remove or change anything that the CCPC might find offensive – such as from Tibet, Taiwan, Tiananmen – or even themes of an individual standing up against authority.

Red Carpet properly points out that the U.S. state departments also uses movies to broadcast America’s image as the saviors of democracy to the world as far back as World War II when Will Hays, chairman of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, famously described Hollywood studios as an “adjunct of our State Department.” and it continues today.

So next time when you are looking at your favorite blockbuster movie you may wonder if there are strange plot changes that favour China; perhaps you may want to watch some of those Indie Movies instead that aren’t bound by China’s supervision of the plot.

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