OPINION: Hollywood’s Fallen to China

China’s ban of South Park is a stark reminder of their no-criticism policy regarding Western media.



China’s grasp over Hollywood is an ominous promise of upcoming media domination.

Hollywood is bending the knee for China’s approval, but it isn’t general Chinese audiences they’re appealing to – it’s their government.

The Chinese government has long been characterized as authoritarian and thus their media is not entitled to the freedom that Western producers are used to. China frequently censors and erases, controlling their population through suppression of the free press and media of all forms.

Entertainment and propaganda hold hands in China; all movies must be approved by the Chinese government.

Hollywood, in decades past, did not seek to appeal to China and did not see the profits in doing so. However, the 2000s saw the emerging of a growing Chinese market, and the likes of Michael Bay’s Transformers and American summer blockbusters began to make a significant portion of their profits in China.

Chinese audiences took a liking to flashy American action flicks, and this has influenced the action flick genre – how many action films have a scene in Asia? It is egregiously noticeable in Marvel Studios films: Black Panther, Dr Strange, and Avengers: Endgame had scenes in Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tokyo respectively.

While Chinese relations with South Korea and Japan are less than friendly, American studios are attempting to appeal to Chinese moviegoers; but it’s their government’s approval that’s key to maximum profit.

For years past, the Chinese government has let as little as two Western films a year into Chinese theaters, but China has become more lax with their restrictions in light of Hollywood’s boot-licking. Avengers: Endgame, the highest grossing film of all time, made 600 million dollars in China alone, enough for most movies to be considered a success. Disney, especially with both Star Wars and Marvel Studios’ films, has made incredible profit in the Red Dragon.

But what is the problem of China’s hold over Hollywood? There will be no criticism.

Long has entertainment influenced general audiences – military movies such as Dunkirk result in more men joining the military, for instance. Just like how those movies won’t receive military funding if they criticize the army, movies criticizing China will miss out on incredible Chinese profits.

China has turned Hollywood into a propaganda center within the most populated state in the United States.

Diverging from Hollywood and into TV entertainment, the Comedy Central show South Park, released an episode critiquing Chinese internment camps and the authoritarian government in general. The same night it was released, every single trace or mention of South Park in all forms of social media and the Chinese internet were wiped, according to news sources The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, and LA Times.

Disrespect of China is to result in erasure. There is no criticism of Beijing in Beijing.

We cannot stand for China wrapping a leash over Hollywood. Our movies are becoming Chinese propaganda, our entertainment is victimized by an overseas government. Without standing up to China, we are making ourselves cowards – and China feeds on cowardice.

Free the media.