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JCC Amph Censorship in Hollywood - Pen America report

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

  1. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2006
    I think it's kind of ridiculous that chuds online are getting outraged over this actress being against the Hong Kong protesters and are thus calling for a boycott of the movie. It's the same people who got upset over Brie Larson's comments about feminism. Whether or not I agree or disagree with an actor isn't going to determine whether I see a film. It's okay if that's the determination for you! But I think people who make that determination are crazy. Straight up.

    Frankly, and I'm going to be honest, reading your stuff on this....I don't care. Your points are nonsensical. Hollywood has been self-censoring for American audiences and the American government for decades. When have we seen a Hollywood movie from the perspective of a foreigner where the US as a whole is presented as evil or bad? Because we've seen countless movies where the a foreign country is evil. If the American government is bad, it's always presented as a few rotten apples who have gotten some power, and Americans will be the one set things right. It's never America as a whole that's considered bad. Where's my Hollywood movie about the US unjustly invading a country like Iraq and the protagonist is an Iraqi civilian who kills American soldiers to defend his home? Where's that movie? Can you imagine the outrage among Facebook Karens if that movie was made, and killing American soldiers was presented as the right thing? "But Viv, they don't make that movie because it won't make money." And there you have it, folks. Chinese audiences are now making up a larger part of a movie's revenue than prior, so movie companies want to make sure not to anger them. If you don't like this, tough? Hollywood spent decades making sure not to anger you.
     
  2. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    On the subject of self censorship, we did not do that for overseas market concerns in television, but we DID do it when working with the US Navy. They basically said we couldn't have anyone doing anything wrong. They're the strong censors for their collaborations.
     
  3. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Strange that, both of you seem to have a problem when it comes to the U.S. Navy or U.S. army working with film-makers and being censored, but when a foreign government imposes censorship on those same movies, "you don't care". Or maybe you're not well informed regarding these subjects to see the differences.

    On my part, I've never been a huge consumer of American movies and neither a fan of them. And I also had a critical eye especially regarding American war movies presenting the Americans as "heroes" of the war, especially war movies telling stories during WWII. Because I've seen other movies made by foreign countries when I've followed the French education system when living in the Middle-East for some years with my family, despite being born in Canada. So I could see history from a foreign country's perspective during my classes, teaching you to analyze and criticize events in history, not just stupidly learning dates in history, something the North-American education system as a whole is seriously lacking, unlike the European education system. For example, I could watch during my history classes French movies telling stories of the French resistance against the Nazis during WWII: they didn't really try to glorify their heroes of the war, but they were rather depicting a critical and dark picture of the war. For example, betrayal in the French resistance was severely punished, even if you did it to save your own family members from the Nazis, the cost to fight for a greater good was very heavy personally for many members of the Resistance, etc. Or again, here's a movie I really recommend from Japan, "Grave of the Fireflies", depicting the story of a brother and a sister trying to survive when Japan was being besieged and bombarded by the American forces. This movie wasn't just being critical of American tactics against the Japanese when burning their cities, but it was also very critical of Japanese society, their cruelty towards their own people when facing food and water shortages, as well as their pride back when Japan was still an empire. The movie as a whole had a very strong anti-war message.

    And Vivec, regarding the Iraq war, contrary to your beliefs, there were already some movies and documentaries being critical of the American government: "Fahrenheit 9/11" from Michael Moore, "The Green Zone" made by Paul Greengrass, and more recently "Vice" with Christian Bale playing Dick Cheney. But let me ask you this, to come back to the main subject of the discussion, which is censorship in Hollywood, were those movies blocked from being released and censored by the U.S. government because they were critical of American policy? Or again, let's remember the controversy with "Revenge of the Sith" in 2005, when Anakin tells to Obi-Wan: "Either you're with me, or you are my enemy". Remember when many people saw the similarity with George W. Bush's speech and saw this as a critic of America's policy regarding the war against terror and Iraq, depicting Republicans as Sith Lords? And then some Republicans called to boycott "Revenge of the Sith"? But did the U.S. government blocked "Revenge of the Sith" from being released in theaters and promised to ruin George Lucas's career and company back then?

    You see Vivec, that's the difference here between the American policy and the Chinese policy regarding movies: there might be some right-wing supporters and Karens calling to boycott a movie and protesting against it in the U.S.. But I don't recall the movies I've mentioned above being automatically blocked from being released by the American government if the producer introduced a simple line critical of American policy. While in China, if you even introduce a simple element critical of the Chinese government or policy or that doesn't even please the Chinese government, your career is ruined and you're banned for life like the actors I've mentioned above. The problem with China's censorship is that it no longer concerns just the local Chinese producers and actors, local American producers and actors are also concerned. For example, Quentin Tarantino tried to resist Hollywood and the Chinese government pressure with "Django Unchained" and finally got banned from release in mainland China, while the movie was supposed to be critical of American slavery, and Tarantino's latter movies such as "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", were also banned in China. Or does anyone remember Richard Gere? It has been a long time we haven't seen Richard Gere on the big screen. Why is that? Well, because of his policies and his support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama, Hollywood banned him for life despite a very successful career in the 1980's and 1990's as an actor. And let's remember that Brad Pitt also got banned as well for featuring in the movie "Seven Years in Tibet".

    And I'm not just being critical of China's censorship and methods, with Chinese censors almost acting as a mob, promising to destroy and ruin producers and actors success in both China and the U.S., Hollywood is filled nowadays with a bunch of whores and hypocrites. These people in Hollywood say that they are for representation, inclusiveness, liberal values, SJW and BLM, but once those policies no longer fit their short-term profits, they get rid of them. Here's an example, Kamran Pasha is a Muslim and Pakistani producer and screen-writer, he was used by Hollywood as a way to criticize George W. Bush's policies in the Middle-East in the 2000's by featuring a Muslim FBI hero in his TV show "Sleeper Cell", but once Barack Obama was elected in 2008, they no longer needed him "as a useful prop" for political opportunity as he says in this conversation in Geeks&Gamers starting at 27:32 to 33:10.

    For me personally, I never was a big fan of Hollywood and their block-busters, so fortunately I shouldn't care that much. I can still find enjoyment and fun in their movies, but for a great number of those movies, I would watch them like only once and not even buy their Blu-Rays and DVDs. But where I have a problem, at least personally, and people should also feel concerned about this, is when people are mixing altogether political agendas as liberal values, SJW and BLM, "political correctness" (censoring Li Shang in the new Mulan movie to please the MeToo movement for example) and introducing censorship to please an authoritarian rule, destroying the essence of an art piece or movie. And I can somehow relate to what some producers and artists must feel when they get "cancelled" or "censored" by big entities as Hollywood or China's government. Despite having a full-time job, I'm still working on a comic during my free time, it's at the same time a hobby and a project for me personally. But if I were to have someone on my back telling me that I should change things in my comic just to please a specific entity or public, I would just tell him to STFU since I'm putting my passion and my soul on this project. I somehow feel that we have entered an era where there are just soulless art and movies, in which the public is finding only pleasure in it, but unable to reach our hearts and brains, lacking innovation since authors, artists and movie producers are completely constrained. It's like entering some kind of Dark Age. That's how I feel at least...
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
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  4. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    I think everyone is fine with criticizing Hollywood's bad tendencies in pursuit of and protecting their profits. It's just the framing of this behavior as a new thing caused by China that rubs people the wrong way. Like Richard Gere being blacklisted. Yes, that's bad, but it didn't start with the PRC.

    And yes, while the U.S. cannot outright ban or stop critical films from coming out, there are other, subtler ways to go about it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  5. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I don't like it happening from the US or China. I just know the only censorship I ever saw working in television specifically was from the US Navy, not from anyone overseas.
     
  6. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2006
    @SW Saga Fan you're fundamentally not understanding the kind of movie I'm saying literally won't ever be made in Hollywood. I'm not talking about films "critical" of a particular administration or critical of the government. I'm talking about films that simply portray America itself as the villain. The whole country. Because in catering to US sensibilities, entire foreign countries and cultures get portrayed as villainous. But never America. Sure, Michael Moore criticized the Bush government. I don't know why you think Revenge of the Sith was some big critique of the US, it was more of about the dangers off creeping fascism in a democracy ala Weimar. It's why I gave a specific example of a type of movie, one in which the killing of American soldiers is presented as necessary and good for the defense of the protagonist, one in which America itself is a villain. And it's never made, because it would offend US sensibilities.

    See, as @Darth Guy mentioned, people like you are only upset about this now because you're no longer being catered to. You're starting to see what it's like when hollywood doesn't cater to you anymore. But plenty of us from outside the US have been feeling that for a long time and we've just had to deal with it. And that's why you're being called out. Because this isn't some moral stance you're taking; this is you and people like you fighting for your loss of privilege. And it's plain as day to the rest of us.
     
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  7. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2011
    It's just more anti-Chinese sentiment from SW Saga Fan.
     
  8. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    We should have gotten out of this kind of practice long ago, instead of pursuing it. The dangerous thing to do is to consider as normal by saying: "Ah, this happened before, so what?"

    "My loss of privilege"

    What are you talking about?! Are you looking at everything somebody else says, that doesn't necessarily fit with your point of view, as dishonest? What is wrong with you telling some non-sense like this? Read again my post, and tell me what kind of privilege I'm losing when I've mentioned that I'm not even an American? My "white-privilege" maybe? Or the fact that I'm privileged to have a job and pursue my interests? Well I've got some news for you: in case you haven't paid enough attention earlier and didn't ask yourself the question, the reason why I've lived in the Middle-East is because my father is Egyptian and my mother is Canadian, my family is part of the middle class, so I wasn't a spoiled brat having a lot of "privilege". So I'm a mixed child and had the chance to live different cultures. Seriously, what kind of "privilege" are you talking about?

    Some people can easily turn discussions into personal attacks and see everything critical of another form of government as an attack on another culture. For your information, a government, especially an authoritarian, isn't always representative of a culture and it's people. In some other thread, I've also been heavily critical of the American government. I haven't seen someone tell me it's anti-American sentiment because I'm not American... Or when my father and I are critical of the Egyptian government (which is the reason why we came back 10 years ago from Egypt), I haven't yet heard someone tell me or my father we were having anti-Egyptian sentiment.

    Since when everything has to turn around "race" or "privilege"?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  9. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Because it is about privilege. That's the thing about privilege: when you've always had it, it's the normal state of things so you don't think anything is wrong until it's taken away. Then it feels like you're "losing."
     
  10. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    That's not what I'm trying to say. I think a critique focused on a single country is too narrow to be useful. This is a problem with the capitalistic model of maximizing profits generally; Hollywood must cater to the biggest markets and the gatekeepers to those markets in order to please their investors. Sometimes state entities are included among those investors. It's also in the self-interest of rich executives and other figures in the industry, not just government officials, to either quash opinions that go against the status quo or water them down so they're more palatable to the ruling elite.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
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  11. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Then what kind of "personal privilege" have I lost then? You should answer me, because you're turning a discussion on a general subject, that regards the general public and industry, into something personal. This doesn't regard a personal whim. Maybe the only "privilege" I've lost with Hollywood is their handling of the Star Wars franchise and their disrespect of Lucas' mythology, but that's it. Otherwise I moved on. And read again my comments as I've already mentioned I'm not huge consumer of Hollywood's movie and prefer independent movies.

    Or maybe are you trying to find a way to shut me up once more by transforming a public discussion into a personal matter by talking about my "personal privilege"? So then, let's talk about your personal privilege, shall we? @Darth Guy at least is posting something more intelligent for the sake of the discussion than you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  12. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2006
    I'm not trying to shut you up. I'm trying to get you to see that you're coming at this from a place of emotion.
     
  13. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    I guess what you're mentioning is what happens to any kind of industries when they become "too big to fail" or too comfortable. I guess that this pandemic will bring Hollywood too rethink how to approach the market since movie theaters are still closed around the world, and Disney is especially losing money with Theme Parks closed. But on my opinion, I think independent movie makers and talented producers should also seize the chance to blossom.
     
  14. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Yeah, independent films are nice and I tend to prefer their style, but they can't secure the financing a big studio film can. If you want something with the spectacle of Mulan, you need the backing of an entity like Disney.
     
  15. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    I'm not coming at this from a place of emotion and I don't know why you assumed this nor why you began to turn this conversation like if it concerned me. And in fact what was mentioned on the Pen report regarding censorship was somehow known for some times but only vaguely mentionned. The difference is that it now begins to be documented since a report was released recently. And somehow, I wasn't that surprised at this report since I was always a bit reluctant at any products coming from Hollywood since they've always been a cash cow. Maybe I get a bit emotional when I see what they've done to Star Wars after slamming Lucas for over a decade after the prequels, but am I very surprised at how Hollywood and Disney work? No. But I'm beginning to see that many people are waking up and see how Hollywood really is: a big money machine crushing creativity and art expression...
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  16. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    You might be surprised. Some independent movies are able to create something with a good spectacle: I remember having seen 3 years ago a small short action film made by Japanese students at the university. I could see the amount of efforts and the details they've put to special effects and costumes. They were very talented and it was one of my favorite short live action movies in a series of Asian movies I've seen in the Fantasia festival.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  17. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Can someone on this forum, who has already watched the new Mulan remake on Disney +, confirm seeing this in the end credits?

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/20...e-of-mulan-criticised-for-filming-in-xinjiang