The Chinese Communist Party is censoring American Movies.
"It's a clear-cut case — maybe the first I can think of in the history of Hollywood — where a foreign country's censorship board deeply affects what we produce," said a leading Hollywood producer who, like several others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to offend potential Chinese partners.
Editor - Here is a re-print of my September, 2012 article on Communist Chinese censorship of an American film. There was no outrage at that time (except by me). Now with "The Interview" the anger is white hot.
(Los Angeles Times) - Chinese bad guys are vanishing — literally. Movie studios are increasingly inclined to remove potentially negative references to China in the hope that the films can pass muster with Chinese censors and land one of several dozen coveted annual revenue-sharing import quota slots in Chinese cinemas.
MGM, the studio behind the remake of the 1984 movie "Red Dawn," last year digitally altered the Chinese invaders attacking the U.S. to make them North Koreans reports the Los Angeles Times.
In the remake, the teens are from Spokane, Wash., and are played by a new generation of heartthrobs : Chris Hemsworth (“Snow White and the Huntsman”), Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games”). But instead of playing to Cold War-era fears of a Soviet occupation, the screenplay called for Chinese invaders.
The film was made in 2009 for about $60 million, but MGM filed for bankruptcy before it could be released in theaters. MGM tried to sell the film after it emerged from bankruptcy, but the decision to portray China as the villain hampered efforts to find a distributor; studios worried that “Red Dawn” would offend the Chinese government and damage their ability to do business in the rapidly growing Asian market.
So the movie’s producers gave “Red Dawn” a makeover, reediting scenes and changing most of the invaders to North Koreans. The filmmakers digitally erased Chinese flags and military symbols and substituted dialogue.
Economically isolated North Korea is not a market for American films, and the changes were estimated to cost less than $1 million.
“We were initially very reluctant to make any changes,” Tripp Vinson, one of the movie’s producers, told the Los Angeles Times last year. “But after careful consideration we constructed a way to make a scarier, smarter and more dangerous ‘Red Dawn’ that we believe improves the movie.”
(Los Angeles Times) (Los Angeles Times - Red Dawn)
|Red Dawn |
The 1984 American war film was written and directed by the great John Milius. It stared Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey. The film is set in an alternate 1980s in which the United States is invaded by the Soviet Union and its Cuban and Nicaraguan allies.