Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has proposed a way to discourage Hollywood from profiting off of Communist Chinese propaganda.
It’s not news that Hollywood production companies edit and censor their films according to the dictates of the Chinese government. The Asian superpower is home to a massive box office that generates billions in revenue for American films, however American filmmakers have to pay the price of catering to the sensibilities of an autocratic regime, even the price of putting American values second.
But maybe not for much longer. In light of China’s gross negligence in handling the coronavirus outbreak that impeded the necessary preparation of 184 virus stricken countries, Cruz has proposed a piece of legislation that will punish any Hollywood production company wedding itself to destructive Chinese propaganda.
Called the “The Stopping Censorship, Restoring Integrity, Protecting Talkies Act” (SCRIPT Act), the proposed bill aims to “block cooperation between the U.S. Defense Department and any film studios that edit or alter their movies for audiences in China.” The idea is that, while the U.S. government is not going to censor or alter Hollywood expression, it will not aid in the production of any films that are being controlled by our geopolitical adversary.
“For too long, Hollywood has been complicit in China’s censorship and propaganda in the name of bigger profits,” the Texas Republican said in a statement, adding “The SCRIPT Act will serve as a wake-up call by forcing Hollywood studios to choose between the assistance they need from the American government and the dollars they want from China.”
Cruz claimed he would introduce the bill during the next Senate session.
It certainly provides a tough choice for Hollywood filmmakers who love the extra revenue they can get from removing homosexual scenes from the Chinese “version of Bohemian Rhapsody,” for example, or changing their “remake of Red Dawn to depict the North Koreans, rather than the Chinese, as occupying America,” but who also rely U.S. government assets or guidance in making their films.
Politico explained that Hollywood production companies have an “old and deep” relationship with the Department of Defense, which “has helped Hollywood make more than 800 movies since 1917, including blockbusters like Iron Man and The Terminator. Studios are often given access to “military facilities and equipment,” as well as “consultation with the Pentagon’s experts.”
The piece added that Cruz’s bill would make it so the studios seeking federal government help would have to promise to not censor for the Chinese. Though it will be interesting to see some of Hollywood’s choices should this bill pass. We’ve seen that Hollywood’s willing to throw out plenty, even their political leanings to get Chinese money.