Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Join us each week as we shine the spotlight on Tinsel Town’s A-listers and their wacky and sometimes inspiring takes on today’s current events.
‘Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing’
How far is America willing to take political correctness and refrain from saying or doing anything that might offend someone, whether here in the United States or elsewhere in the world? For Hollywood, that answer would be pretty far. Now, in an effort to prevent upsetting the Chinese government, many Tinsel Town studios make sure their films do not have any themes or content on Tibet, human rights issues, or other topics that Beijing might find upsetting, according to PEN America in an article republished from Radio Free Asia.
PEN, whose website claims it stands “at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide,” said film content is altered, even for American viewers, and occasionally studios give Chinese audiences an even more censored version. In fact, the news site claims that sometimes the Chinese are invited to sets as advisers, to make sure the filmmakers are not “tripping the censor’s wires.”
In the article “Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing,” PEN said the studios may alter their decisions on everything from plot and dialogue to casting and sets “based on a desire to avoid antagonizing Chinese officials who control a film’s access to the booming Chinese market.” So, just as with anything else, it seems, money makes the world go ‘round and is the true motivation behind this censorship. It isn’t concern for the Chinese people or government that has Tinsel Town tiptoeing and bowing to the Orient, and it definitely isn’t about making sure stories are told realistically while keeping the creative juices flowing productively. It’s about the almighty dollar — or yuan.
Seven Years in Tibet, a 1997 film starring Brad Pitt, would not see the light of day in modern Hollywood, according to Emily Jashinsky, the cultural editor at The Federalist, who told RFA’s Tibetan Service in an interview that it “is a great example of a film that would never be made in today’s Hollywood, and this is because everybody in the industry is absolutely petrified of being blacklisted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).” She added:
“Hollywood would be terrified even if they made that movie just for viewing in the United States and elsewhere, and not to be shown in China.”
The editor claimed any movies that have a sympathetic bent toward Tibet are “politically against what the CCP wants their narrative to be.”
It seems like every time we turn around we learn about more interference and influence coming from China. The way it dealt — or, more aptly, didn’t deal — with the COVID outbreak, the trade war, the battle with TikTok, and censoring American entertainment demonstrates how deeply the Asian country is digging its claws into the American way of life to control, manipulate, and change our great nation into something resembling the communist agenda.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said China is pushing its narrative by “coercing Americans into self-censorship — especially in Hollywood.” He has proposed legislation, labeling it a “wake-up call”:
“That’s why I have introduced the SCRIPT Act, which would cut off Hollywood studios from assistance they receive from the U.S. Government if those studios censor their films for screening in China. I remain committed to protecting our national security and ensuring that the Chinese Communist Party is held accountable for their censorship, human rights abuses, propaganda campaigns, and espionage operations.”
Cheers and Jeers
Sometimes, HollyWeird players make headlines for silly or bizarre happenings, so here is a collection of newsworthy doings — honorable and dishonorable — by the tenants of Tinsel Town.
Batwoman’s Ever-Changing Character
In CW’s Batwoman television series, actress Ruby Rose broke ground by being the first gay main character in a live-action superhero series. However, the job became a tad too much for her after she suffered a back injury that required immediate surgery and a COVID quarantine. During the lockdown, the actress considered her life and decided one season was enough for her.
Season two will feature Javicia Leslie, an actress on BET’s The Family Business. The 33-year-old is the first black woman to play the bat character, and she couldn’t be more excited. “This really had nothing to do with me and everything to do with my people and with little Black girls,” she said.
I’m not sure if this is a cheers or jeers moment. Congratulations to Leslie for gaining the part, of course, but the pick was likely a result of the BLM movement more than anything else. Anyway, the actress, a longtime fan of the character, is ecstatic with the role and plans to be a part of the series for a long time to come.
Full House Star Gets Prison Time
Lori Loughlin, after months of denying any wrongdoing, changed her plea to guilty and was sentenced to two months in prison for the college scheme in which she and other Hollywood biggies participated. The actress’ husband, Mossimo Giannulli, received a sentence of five months in prison for the bribery scandal. The couple have until Nov. 19 to turn themselves in to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The pair are trying to stagger their sentences so that one parent will be home for the children. Loughlin has requested to go to Victorville while her husband seeks to go to Lompoc, which is near Santa Barbara.
After receiving the sentence, the Full House star started crying and then thanked the virtual audience for allowing her to apologize. “I made an awful decision,” she said. “I went along with a plan to give my daughters an unfair advantage … and in doing so I ignored intuition and allowed myself to be swayed from my moral compass.”
Awards Ceremony Doesn’t Require Quarantine
New York City, one of the hardest hit by COVID, is not going to require traveling celebrities to quarantine for 14 days before attending the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30. The state currently has a mandatory two-week quarantine time for travelers from specific parts of the nation, but apparently that will not apply to HollyWeird’s A-listers. Instead, the police (whom they’ve defunded) will be responsible for making sure stars and staff wear masks and practice social distancing.
A spokesperson for Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said the celebrities will be allowed to “participate in the production of the show, but they will only interact with other members of the cast and crew and will quarantine when not working.”
Tune in next week to see what else Tinsel Town has planned.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.