Communist Party now holds sway over American audiences
Paul Joseph Watson
April 1, 2013
A scene from the new Brad Pitt movie World War Z had to be changed so as not to offend Chinese state censors, just one of numerous recent examples where American movies are being amended in order to please China’s ruling Communist Party leaders.
“In the offending scene, characters debate the geographic origin of an outbreak that caused a zombie apocalypse and point to China,” a Paramount executive told TheWrap.
Paramount ordered the movie’s producers to choose a different country and redo the scene so as not to upset Chinese censors and threaten distribution in China, the fastest growing film market in the world.
This is by no means the first example of American movie producers being told to edit out negative portrayals of China in order to please Communist Party censors.
“While China has loosened its restrictions on the number of foreign films that can screen in the country, its film board continues to wield a great deal of influence, causing unprecedented changes in plots, release strategies, casting and other elements of Hollywood production,” writes Lucas Shaw.
Concerns that China was interfering in U.S. media were also heard after MGM was forced to delay the re-make of Red Dawn for two years after Chinese state media complained that depicting the invading villains as Chinese “would demonize their state and its citizens.” The bad guys were changed to North Koreans and entire portions of the film had to be revised.
The filmmakers were forced to set about, “digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from “Red Dawn,” substituting dialogue and altering the film to depict much of the invading force as being from North Korea, an isolated country where American media companies have no dollars at stake,” reported the L.A. Times.
An alternate version of Iron Man 3 has also been produced to cater to Chinese audiences as a way of satisfying Communist Party censors.
Large chunks of several movies released last year were also cut by censors, including 40 minutes from Cloud Atlas and 12 minutes from Men in Black 3. All scenes taking place in Chinatown were excised.
A scene from the latest James Bond franchise Skyfall that depicted a Chinese security guard being assassinated was also scrubbed.
The 1984 movie The Karate Kid was also censored at the behest of Communist Party officials, who expressed displeasure at one of the villains being Chinese, leading to 12 minutes of the film being cut.
Last year, Chinese company Wanda purchased AMC, the second-largest theater chain in the USA, increasing fears that the Chinese Communist Party was expanding its influence globally as part of a media takeover.
“Beijing is investing heavily in projecting its “soft power,” or cultural influence, by boosting Chinese state media’s presence abroad, including the USA, where the Chinese government has also run advertisements in New York’s Times Square,” reported USA Today.
Stanley Rosen, director of USC’s East Asian Studies Center, said the Communist Party remained “hyper-sensitive to anything that puts China in a bad light.”
While Chinese censors deleting scenes for their own domestic propaganda purposes is one thing, the fact that American movie studios are self-censoring films before they’re even viewed by Communist Party officials illustrates how draconian Chinese media censorship is already being applied to American audiences.