China Gives Hollywood the Pantsing It Deserves

Yan Yan/Xinhua via AP

If you get in bed with the devil, don’t be surprised when you get burned. That’s a lesson that Hollywood is learning after the communists shut out all four of Disney’s Marvel movies from releasing in China last year.

Those movies were Disney’s highest-grossing of 2021, which means the home of Mickey-Mouse took a major hit in the pocketbook by being frozen out by the Chi-coms.

China blocked all four of Disney’s Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world’s fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Never has an industry deserved this kind of pantsing more than Hollywood. The ultra-liberal institution has courted the Chinese for decades, ignoring human rights abuses while virtue signaling about the most mundane things domestically (see: Georgia’s voting law). In doing so, Hollywood tied itself to a tyrannical state that was always looking to eventually box them out, and that’s exactly what’s happening now.

China’s goal is to continue to grow its domestic entertainment industry into a dominant force. That isn’t coming via free-market competition either. Rather, it comes from the CCP banning American media products in order to capitalize on increased domestic revenues and controlled messaging. For Xi Jinping and his cohorts, everything is a propaganda opportunity, with few bigger than the big screen. Hollywood has always known what was hiding behind the curtain, but they suckled at the communist teet anyway.

Further, in bowing to China, the movie industry often ignored the wants and desires of its own citizens, producing sub-par, one-sided, overly preachy content. While Hollywood relentlessly lectured normal Americans from their faux moral perch about climate change and transgenderism, they ignored actual atrocities happening in China because they were effectively being paid off.

Now, despite the often embarrassing efforts to keep the communist dollars flowing, Hollywood is being kicked to the curb anyway, left to beg Chinese officials for a chance to nibble at the apple. There’s certainly some poetic justice in that.

As to where things go from here, I suppose the movie industry will come crawling back to Americans, begging them to once again increase their intake of largely garbage content. I doubt that happens, though. Hollywood arrogantly flew too close to the sun, and I think it’s all downhill from here.