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JCC Amph Censorship in Hollywood - Pen America report

Discussion in 'Community' started by SW Saga Fan, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Well, this was already known for some years and has only been confirmed through the latest Pen America report.

    This might explain part of the reason why I've found Hollywood's movies to be so unoriginal and lacking inspiration in the recent years and I've decided to turn myself to small independent movie festivals which were more original. Unfortunately, those small festivals and independent movies are being threatened since the coronavirus pandemic, just like Hollywood's profits with the closure of all theaters around the world.

    Hollywood may pretend to be "woke" by supporting social movements as anti-racism and BLM, but on the other side, they side with the oppressor. Key word here is "money". Same thing with the NBA last year when the Houston Rocket general manager supported Hong-Kong protests, but had to censor himself later...

    Pen America report here: https://pen.org/report/made-in-hollywood-censored-by-beijing/

    Article resuming the report: https://tribune.com.pk/story/2258289/hollywood-to-self-censor-its-films-for-china

     
  2. MotivateR5D4

    MotivateR5D4 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2015
    A big criticism of the NBA right now is how they are going woke for BLM, but say nothing about China where they get all their merch made but who commit some of the worst human rights abuses in our modern day.

    Even our beloved Star Wars franchise edited out Finn from sequel trilogy promotional materials in China because that market doesn't want to see black people in positions of prestige and they had to appease that market.

    And then when you have major corporate sponsors pushing a woke narrative in their advertising just to sell products, it kind of defeats the purpose. But people seem to be all for it. Progress is what they call it.
     
  3. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    Money is all they care about. It is their sole motivator. They are gutless and amoral.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  4. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Speaking of Star Wars, the meddling of Chinese censorship goes even deeper than that in the Sequel Trilogy, going as far as bastardize George Lucas' concepts and mythology regarding the Force, and what the Force is supposed to represent.

    Remember when there were supposed to be Force Ghosts of all the Jedis with Rey beating the Emperor at the end of The Rise of Skywalker? And when Luke was holding a lightsaber as a ghost, and Yoda calling out a thunder in The Last Jedi even as a ghost?

    Well, apparently, in Chinese culture, ghosts have a different meaning: they may represent corrupt or evil leaders in some of China's stories and mythology. So you can guess the rest of the story when it regards the Chinese government...

    This Star Wars fan and youtuber has done some research regarding that and how censorship has even influenced the Star Wars story in the ST (watch at 8:19 for the most relevant points):

     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  5. MotivateR5D4

    MotivateR5D4 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2015
    I've read about the ghost thing before. Certain movies can't be shown there because of it. Not really a political thing, but it does show the kind of censorship that dictates what reaches that market.
     
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  6. gezvader28

    gezvader28 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2003
    but what about ESB and ROJ , they've got Force-ghosts in them .
     
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  7. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Well in the 1970's and 1980's, China was closed to the rest of the world, so Star Wars couldn't reach their market back then and the previous generations couldn't be reached and have a deep impact on their culture, unlike the rest of the world. And still today, Star Wars is not popular there and, if I'm not mistaken, the OT as well as the PT have never been shown in their theaters, even when the Special Editions came out in 1997...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  8. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval TV Casualty / FFS! star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    This ghost scenario gets tossed about quite a bit and it gives me pause every time I come across a reference to it. I import asinine amounts of Chinese market horror films and nearly all of them include ghosts of one sort or another. The madly popular "Mr. Vampire" series hinges on ghosts, as just one example of a series with over half a dozen films.
     
  9. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    There was an article years ago about how Waterworld, of all movies, changed how major studio movies got made (I can't locate the article right now, unfortunately) - basically that the movie was a much-deserved flop in the US and then was an astounding success in the foreign market. Prior to that, US movies focused mostly on the US market. After that, movies tried to move towards a more international appeal, meaning:
    1) More international cast (not really a bad thing)
    2) Minimizing dialogue
    3) Focus on visuals
    4) Pandering to the largest foreign markets
     
  10. MotivateR5D4

    MotivateR5D4 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2015
    I'm not totally educated on the specifics of all of that. But now that you mention it, there is a lot of Chinese horror that includes ghosts. It's possible that they are interpreted differently in China than they are in the US. I know that martial arts directors tend to film A LOT more content than they know gets placed in a film, because I guess the government is who ultimately decides how a film gets edited and released to the Chinese audience. But then there is a secondary market that edits the movies differently for the international audience. So perhaps something like that happens with the horror genre. I don't know. I'm not as much of a film guy as I used to be.

    At the same time, taking a movie meant for American audiences and editing them to appease the Chinese market would inevitably be an entirely different process.
     
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  11. Darth Punk

    Darth Punk Community Moderator star 6 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2013
    But I’m halfway through my new screenplay “Gayed in Taiwan”.
     
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  12. solojones

    solojones 2 Lies 1 Truth Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Interestingly, in my ten years of working in TV, this was NEVER brought up by a network or streaming service to us in their notes. Definitely something they are conscious of in films, but not so much in television. Although exporting TV is becoming a bigger deal all the time, there's also been more of a push towards creative freedom in television, at least cable and streaming television, in my experience.
     
  13. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Well I don't know either for Chinese ghost movies, but maybe things and rules have even changed for movies made in mainland China recently.

    Last year, a chinese movie named "The Eight Hundred" that was supposed to be shown in a festival and opened for theatrical release in China was cancelled, but then might be released this year.

    To make the movies' story short: it tells the story of the war between Japan and China during WWII. Japanese troops were invading Shanghai and there were 800 Chinese soldiers left to defend the city. All of those soldiers gathered at a warehouse and left there by themselves, surounded by the Japanese army.

    However, back in the 1930's and 1940's, it wasn't communist China that ruled the country, but the Chinese Nationalists of the Kuomintang, and these soldiers were the Chinese Nationalist army, since historically it was the Nationalists who had to endure the biggest fights and greatest losses against the Japanese Empire, while the Communists were organizing some small guerillas in occupied territories by Japan.

    In many scenes of this movie, many symbols as well as the flag of Nationalist China (former Republic of China) were shown, which is still the flag of Taiwan today, not the flag of the People's Republic of China which was only created after WWII in 1949.

    The reasons of the movie getting even banned in China, which was still made by Chinese producers, were the following according to this article from the South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/ente...e-imax-war-film-eight-hundred-pulled-shanghai

    For those who don't know, the China Red Culture Research Association is a group of China's Communist Party scholars and experts. So they ended up censoring their own movie in China because... history didn't fit their narrative...

    These are scenes of the movie representing soldiers and the flag of the former Republic of China and the Kuomintang in the trailer:

    [​IMG]

    What is even more ironic in this story was that, in this picture, we see a Communist soldier waving Nationalist China's flag when they were also fighting the Japanese: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_United_Front

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    Master_Lok likes this.
  14. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Speaking of Disney, the live-action movie of Mulan that was supposed to be released on theaters around the world, will finally be released on Disney + after its worldwide release has been delayed over and over again because of the coronavirus pandemic. It will be available only for premium members which costs 30$ (37$ if you're not already a subscriber). However many experts say that offering Disney+ subscribers the choice to unlock Mulan early could cut into those crucial theatrical grosses and turn away other potential viewers after the movie was expensive to produce.



    But in case you weren't aware, there were already calls in South Korea and Thailand to boycott the new Mulan movie since the actress playing Mulan, Liu Yifei (or Crystal Liu), has made the controversy last year by posting messages supporting the Hong-Kong police repression against the protesters. While she, born in mainland China, has obtained the U.S. nationality and enjoys all the freedom of expression that the protesters were trying to protect in Hong-Kong. This put Disney in a hot spot since they didn't want to lose their market in China.

    This comedian and rapper who lived in China and learned Chinese language for 12 years, who was kind of famous and appreciated by many Chinese people before being banned after expressing his opinions a bit too much, perfectly sums up the situation (warning, some vulgar language!):



    The profits of the Mulan movie are already hurt by the pandemic and many viewers are being turned away if there's still no theatrical release. It seems that, ironically, the coronavirus pandemic had the better on this movie.
     
  15. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    While I don't like the PRC and its censorship, Hollywood catering to governments is nothing new. The U.S. government, particularly the Department of Defense and the intelligence community, have a ton of influence in the industry down to script approval. Many projects involving depictions of the military or CIA or law enforcement are just straight-up U.S. propaganda. There were also major events in the past such as the the government and studio bosses working together to purge leftists in the 1940s and 1950s.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  16. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    And it’s not just overtly political films: the US Air Force refused to support the first Avengers film because it showed a multinational council overseeing SHIELD.
     
  17. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    That is why it's time to stop giving our money to Hollywood and support small independent movies and festivals when we can! There are many talented producers and independent artists who need our support. I always enjoyed the film festival Fantasia which was taking place each summer in Montreal (unfortunately it got cancelled this year because of the pandemic) and saw many movies that were made by talented people and never made it to big theaters.

    Regarding the U.S. government influence on Hollywood movies, there's a growing perception that it is shrinking and that it's more censorship from the PRC taking place so it can make an extra bucks... I don't know if any of you saw the South Park episode talking about this subject after the NBA controversy. And then South Park got also banned in China so it is now part of the list of forbidden words or subjects in China which are: Tibet, Tiananmen, Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Uyghurs and Winnie The Pooh... The creators of South Park then had to issue an "apology" to the Chinese government just like the NBA...
     
  18. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2000
    Yes but China.
     
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  19. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2015
    There you are definitely wrong! I myself have watched both AOTC and ROTS in Chinese movie theaters, in the original English versions. I haven't noticed any cuts or changes whatsoever. As of up until around 2010 (when I still lived there), all 6 SW movies were widely available on DVD, including the 2004 OT box set with the bonus DVD, all bootlegs naturally. Just for the occasional expat? I don't think so. In 2005 even the ROTS soundtrack CD could be found at practically any music store. Another thing about DVDs in China, many many of those I have even include the complete soundtrack, mostly "hidden", meaning not visible in the main menu, but accessible for example when you went to the first menu item and moved the cursor up or sideways, leading you to the entire listing of tracks as found on the CD - that included the OT box by the way, which had the complete soundtracks for all 3 movies. I discovered that additional content by accident of course. So you not only got the entire uncut movie plus bonus material, but complete soundtrack as well, something totally absent from most original DVDs.
    The OT is a different story. I don't know if they were ever screened in theaters in China. I did watch the 1997 edition of ROTJ in Hong Kong though. As for the PT not being popular in China, I have had very different experiences as well. In 2002 AOTC was widely promoted by clothing chains such as Bossini, where all kinds of SW T-shirts and caps were sold. In fact around that time you could see dozens of locals wearing SW shirts within 15 minutes or so. Sure, most of them probably had no idea what the original SW is about, and it may simply have been a certain "coolness" factor. But it's certainly untrue that the franchise is as unknown as you claim in that country.
    On the whole, Chinese censorship may be slightly exaggerated in the West. While they definitely do censor, that happens more in theory than practice. In my time there, especially from around 2003 to 2008, you could practically find any of the more well-known Hollywood movies on DVD somewhere, uncut at that. While porn or political content is generally illegal in China, it seems no one ever thought of censoring those DVDs. There have been occasional raids on DVD stores, but they didn't appear to be very effective. You simply went to the store next door, many of which had back doors leading to private storage rooms where you had tons of movies to choose from. I often went home with literally dozens of DVDs - sometimes 50 or 60 - in my backpack, more than I could ever watch within several weeks. I even managed to get that special edition box set of Return of the King, to name just one example, including that metal model of Minas Tirith, which looked absolutely authentic, no plastic in it whatsoever, plus booklet, for a fraction of what you would pay in the West. I'm still wondering how they managed that! It's easy to burn a DVD and sell it in a horrible paper cover with BS pictures and gibberish text, but it amazes me how they could have made box sets that are practically indistinguishable from the originals available.
    I'm mainly talking about the early 2000s here. Nowadays the situation is surely completely different.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
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  20. Luke02

    Luke02 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Yep and Nike has been using sweat shops for decades now. They just have moved them from China to even poorer countries.
     
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  21. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Nike might even got suppliers with free laborer in Xinjiang's concentration camps: https://qz.com/1811305/nike-apple-linked-to-forced-uighur-labor-in-china-report-says/
     
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  22. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    How Hollywood and Disney are using "social justice", "minority right" and BLM for profits and promotion, while making those messages less vocal on other countries like China, but then forget to write down some good and interesting characters and stories for their movies. Unfortunately, the recent Star Wars has fallen into this trap:

     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  23. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    If some of you are following video games, the new Call of Duty video game is creating a controversy: Activision Blizzard censored a teaser trailer which featured a second-long clip of the Tiananmen Square protests. It seems that not only the American movie industry, and Hollywood, as well as the NBA and sport games industry are infected by self-censorship: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattpe...a-over-tiananmen-square-footage/#5d6a75c840af
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  24. solojones

    solojones 2 Lies 1 Truth Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I don't agree with the actor, but if I boycotted every movie where I disagree with the main actor, I'd never see a movie.
     
  25. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    On my part, I don't think any Disney movies are really worth it recently, especially after seeing their handling of Star Wars (and being so disrespectful to George Lucas's legacy and mythology, as well as to the fanbase by calling them "racist" and "sexist", or "Russian bots" if they didn't like the sequels or the writing of some characters) and how they've transformed their movies into political agendas, while on the other side, they are just a bunch of hypocrites looking for some sweet sweet sweet money while siding with an oppressor in an authoritarian state. And somehow, I'm kind of satisfied that Disney is bleeding and experiencing many loses of profits with the pandemic.

    If I want to watch Mulan, I'll watch the original movie from 1998. I'm not going to give more of my money to Disney. And to demonstrate how ridiculous Disney's political agendas have gone, they've decided to cancel the character of Li Shang in Mulan, because apparently Li Shang is "too attractive" to women and is the "main sexual and love interest" which goes against the #MeToo movement... But the reality is that, if anyone really watched the orignal Mulan movie, Mulan has in reality earned the respect of Li Shang because of her courage and intelligence, and joining the Chinese army to fight the evil despite being a woman. And it is Li Shang that falls for Mulan at the end, a strong woman, not Mulan falling for Li Shang while looking for a strong man.

    So, on one side we have self-censorship because of the Chinese government pressure and policies, and on one side, we have the "cancel culture" for political correctness (which goes to the absurd) in art and movie industries?

    I would rather go see independent movies and encourage new talented film-makers and give my money to them. Unfortunately, those independent movie makers are also suffering since nobody can really see their movies because of the pandemic: many independent art and film festivals in Montreal, as well as elsewhere, have been canceled this summer.

    But at the same time, regarding the actress playing Mulan in the live-action movie, Liu Yifei, by looking a bit more deeply, you may find other reasons why she supported the oppression in Hong-Kong: she and many other famous Chinese actors who have another nationality, as Jet Li, Gong Li, Wu Yifan, are put in a black list by their government since "they are unpatriotic" if they have another nationality than China, hurting their careers and being denied roles in movies made in mainland China. And this seems to be very effective since Jackie Chan has become one of the most vocal supporters of Beijing's crackdown on Hong-Kong. And all of this, while those actors are earning a lot of money in Hollywood and in the U.S., they still have to parrot Beijing's discourse by calling the U.S. the "most corrupt and racist country in the world". If the U.S. was really the "most racist country in the world", how come they've let you, a foreigner, enter in the U.S. film-industry and allowed you to make a fortune with your talent as an actor?

    This is shameful since I liked Jackie Chan a lot in his movies when I was a child and a teenager.

     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020