No matter what Muslims might claim, Nazis are easily Hollywood’s go-to villains, these days. Whether it’s Indiana Jones, Marvel films, or Oscar-baiting Holocaust films, if Hollywood wants a bad guy: slap on a black uniform and some shiny boots.
It wasn’t always that way, of course. From Hitler’s ascension in 1933 until WWII actually broke out six years later, Hollywood conspicuously avoided making the Nazis look bad. Studios even consulted the German consul-general in Los Angeles to make sure they weren’t treading on any goose-stepping toes. It was a simple case of putting money before principles: Germany was a lucrative market and Hollywood wanted those sweet, sweet Deutschmarks.
But, contrary to the ubiquitous Holocaust dramas, Hollywood almost never goes near the gulags. Noble exceptions like Peter Weir’s excellent The Way Back invariably sink like stones. Despite a renowned director and a stellar cast, the film barely scraped one Oscar nomination.
Certainly don’t expect them to say a word about China.
Now history seems to be repeating itself, with the studios kowtowing to Communist China. Granted, Communist China isn’t as bad as Nazi Germany (what is?), but its human rights violations are bad enough. It’s even carrying out what the U.S. State Department has deemed a genocide against the Uyghurs.
Not as bad as Nazi Germany? The 70-million dead from the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution might beg to differ. And it’s not just the US State Department calling the campaign in Xinjiang a genocide: the Netherlands and Canada have both passed motions condemning it as “genocide”. An independent report signed by dozens of experts says that China has breached every single article of the Genocide Convention.
Yet Hollywood movers and shakers are desperately, pathetically eager to please Beijing.
John Cena, star of the new Fast and Furious movie, just issued an abject apology for casually referring to Taiwan as a “country.” That’s anathema to the Chinese Communist Party, which insists that the island is merely a renegade province. “I’m very sorry for my mistakes,” he said in Mandarin, even though he hadn’t made a mistake — Taiwan really is an independent country[…]
Cena has no desire to join the list of performers blacklisted by China. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and the South Korean pop group BTS were just cut by Chinese censors from the version of “Friends: The Reunion” shown in that country[…]
The Chinese director Chloé Zhao has landed on Beijing’s blacklist because of an old interview in which she said there were “lies everywhere” when she was growing up in China[…]
Paramount removed from “World War Z” (2013) any mention that the zombie plague had originated in China. Marvel changed the protagonist’s mentor in “Dr. Strange” (2016) from a Tibetan to a Celt. Skydance Media erased a Taiwanese flag patch from Tom Cruise’s jacket in the upcoming “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Besides censoring stuff, studios will deliberately pander to the Chinese communists.
The Bruce Willis science-fiction picture “Looper” (2012) included a character saying, “I’m from the future. You should go to China.” The animated film “Abominable” (2019) included China’s “nine-dash line” map claiming sovereignty over the South China Sea. Both movies were joint U.S.-Chinese productions.
There’s also the pandering to racism. When Disney released Star Wars: The Force Awakens in China, it notably shrunk its only black character almost out of sight on promotional posters.
Overwhelmingly left-wing Hollywood continually pats itself for “standing up” to McCarthyism (it didn’t) and actors regularly drive away audiences by tub-thumping about Donald Trump – but Hollywood says nothing about the Nazi Germany of the 21st Century.
The writer-director Judd Apatow — one of the few in Hollywood brave enough to speak out — summed up the situation in an MSNBC interview: “Instead of us doing business with China and that leading to China being more free, what has happened is that China has bought our silence with their money.”The Washington Post
A pattern that repeats itself everywhere, from Hollywood to Wellington. China’s money might be tempting, but those who sell their souls to the slime of humanity for a few trinkets deserve nothing but contempt.
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