China’s Starring Role in Hollywood

What does it take to make a Hollywood blockbuster? Movie stars? A great script? How about approval from the Chinese government? In this episode, two guests explore the surprising role of Chinese censorship and oversight in the production of U.S. films and ask what’s at stake as their presence increases.

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Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting
Credits

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Aynne Kokas
    Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia
  • James Tager
    Deputy Director, Free Expression Research and Policy, PEN America

Show Notes

Since 1997, China has leveraged its market to exert growing influence over exported U.S. films, censoring content that could cast China in a negative light and demanding the addition of scenes that glorify the country. Now, as China’s box office overtakes North America’s as the largest in the world, Hollywood has transitioned from accepting this censorship to preemptively creating films and scenes that will please Chinese censors. In this episode, two expert guests examine what China hopes to gain from this strategy and what the implications are for the world’s premier storytelling venue as it accedes to the wishes of an authoritarian government.


 

CFR Resources

 

Media Censorship in China,” Eleanor Albert and Beina Xu

 

China’s Repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang,” Lindsay Maizland
 

Read More

 

Made In Hollywood, Censored by Beijing,” PEN America 

 

How China is Taking Control of Hollywood,” Heritage Foundation

 

Looks like the new ‘Top Gun’ bows to China’s communist party by censoring Maverick’s jacket,” Vanity Fair

 

Mulan’ is a movie about how much Hollywood needs China,” Washington Post

 

Hollywood Made in China,” Diplomat

 

The China box office has surpassed North America’s as the biggest in the world this year with $2 billion,” Business Insider

 

Text of Disney's Response to "Mulan" ControversyPosted to Twitter by Iain Duncan Smith, MP.

 

Watch and Listen

 

China’s Influence On Hollywood Is Growing, Changing The Films You See,” TODAY

 

China’s Uighurs, With Gulchehra Hoja,” The President’s Inbox

 

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