lørdag 11. september 2021

Shirley Li: How Hollywood Sold Out to China

What critics might call censorship, Hollywood studios might label a market-entry strategy. The phenomenon has long been part of the global film industry. Post–World War II West German audiences saw a different version of Casablanca than the rest of the world. Last Tango in Paris, with its notoriously explicit sex scenes, was editedbefore it could be released in Britain and barred from being shown in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Three Nordic countries placed an age restriction on the film E.T. in 1982 after child psychologists accused the film of portraying adults as “enemies of children.”

Thus, when China re-allowed Hollywood movies in the late 1980s and ’90s (they were banned during the Cultural Revolution) as long as it could select and edit the ones it wanted, American companies didn’t see red flags. “It’s all a version of self-regulation we’ve been going through for decades,” says Russell Schwartz, a former president of marketing at New Line Cinema and at Relativity Media, who oversaw campaigns for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Rush Hour sequels.