FOR BETTER or worse, Dick Clark Productions, which brings TV viewers such extravaganzas as the Golden Globes and the American Music Awards, is a major force in popular culture. But is its ownership also a matter of national strategic importance? The answer, according to a growing number of U.S. officials and entertainment industry observers, is maybe.
That’s because the would-be buyer is Dalian Wanda, a Chinese conglomerate whose chairman’s Communist Party membership and close ties to President Xi Jinping’s government in Beijing make it a private firm only in a nominal sense. Dalian Wanda has already bought Legendary Entertainment (“Jurassic World”), along with the biggest cinema chain in the United States, and has set its sights on a “Big 6” Hollywood studio. If fully executed, this acquisition strategy could give Dalian Wanda, and by extension its patrons in Beijing, influence over not only the distribution of films but also their content.