You might have noticed in recent decades how the movies seem to be bending over backwards to not offend Chinese sensibilities. Chinese villains are a thing of the past. “Red Dawn” had the North Koreans taking over a corner of America. “Mission: Impossible” or James Bond may venture into Chinese waters or lands. But God forbid it be because of anything the Chinese communist oligarchs are doing.
When Roland Emmerich made “2012,” darned if the Chinese weren’t saving the human race by building big, polluting diesel arks for the last humans to ride out the apparently-canceled cataclysm that 12-21-2012 was supposed to foretell.
The extent to which the Chinese are getting to influence Hollywood — directly, in films shot there, and in Chinese co-productions (“Kung Fu Panda” movies, etc.) is explored in this New York Times story.
News organizations still break stories on this or that “crack down on freedoms” in China, the corruption, scandalously badly polluted air and dissent. But you have to wonder if even many of these companies, which after all, own film and TV production companies too, will start self-censoring as well in an effort to protect their access to a lucrative, if repressive and predatory market.