by David Ng and Matthew Boyle, Breitbart:
ORLANDO, Florida — Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told Breitbart News exclusively that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spreading cash to Hollywood studios precludes a lot of them from casting CCP-aligned Chinese Communists as the bad guys in movies.
Cotton made the comments in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) here, a sold-out event hosted this weekend by the American Conservative Union (ACU). Cotton argued that back during the Cold War, Hollywood studios regularly cast Soviet Union-aligned Communists as the villain in movies. But in modern times, Hollywood studios are not doing similar casting with regard to CCP-aligned villain characters. That, Cotton said, is at least partly because the CCP is providing cash to Hollywood studios.
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“When was the last time you saw a Chinese bad guy in a movie?” Cotton said. “Back in the Cold War, Russian communists were always the bad guys. We would think Chinese communists would provide pretty good fodder for Hollywood, but you never see it.”
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 1, 2021
In recent years, Hollywood has re-conceived the roles of Chinese bad guys in order to appease Beijing authorities. Marvel Studios altered the character of “The Mandarin” in Iron Man 3, casting British actor Ben Kingsley in the role that was originally conceived as a Chinese villain.
Cotton noted this practice has now become more pervasive in Hollywood.
“In fact, in Top Gun 2, Tom Cruise had to take the Taiwan flag off of his bomber jacket because the Chinese objected. Why is that? Well, it’s partly because China provides so much money to Hollywood studios. It’s also because Hollywood wants access to the Chinese market,” he said.
Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick is partly financed by China’s Tencent Pictures, which has an investment venture with Skydance Media, the studio founded by David Ellison, the son of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison.
Tencent and Skydance also partnered on the Hollywood blockbuster Terminator: Dark Fate, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Last month, Cotton unveiled a plan calling for the federal government to ban Chinese investment in the U.S. entertainment industry. The plan also calls on studios to dissolve their Chinese joint ventures.
The senator’s “Beat China” plan outlines his larger effort to disentangle American business from Beijing, focusing on telecommunications, semiconductors, the medical field, and other industries.