Leaders of the House Select Committee on China will meet with Disney CEO Robert Iger on Wednesday and take a closer look at his censorship of Hollywood films to appease the Chinese Communist Party.
President President, Rep. Mike Gallagher, a few Los Angeles lawyers, is taking a seat with Mr. Iger and other Hollywood players, according to sources close to the election.
The meetings are private and were intended to give the entertainment industry a chance to speak candidly without fear of retribution from China in meeting with lawyers, according to a source familiar with the committee’s plans.
Mr. Gallagher, Republican of Wisconsin, is a leading China hawk who has condemned the TikTok-sponsored bill and has previously threatened to drag Hollywood to Capitol Hill. His re-election campaign website He said in 2020 if Hollywood executives, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and the NBA did not want to have a conversation with Congress about Chinese influence, then Mr. Gallagher believed lawyers needed to subpoena them.
Mr. Gallagher is putting that rhetoric behind him and looking to the new Capitol Hill to establish ties with Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It also leads lawyers to a meeting Friday with Mr. Cook in Silicon Valley.
“I think we can have a fruitful conversation with Disney, with the NBA, with Apple,” Mr. Gallagher said recently during campaign comments pressed by PBS. “I really want to understand how they think about doing business in China. We have to have that conversation, even though it may be difficult at times.
However, lawmakers are not going to point fingers at Hollywood but will look for ways to triumph over American industry over its Chinese countermeasures, a source familiar with the committee’s plans said.
Lawyers are seeking answers about censorship and other concessions made by Hollywood to appease China’s communist government for access to foreign markets.
Hollywood has a well-documented history of making changes to its workforce to avoid the wrath of Communist China;
- Sony has removed a scene from the 2015 sci-fi comedy “Pixels” where video game aliens destroyed the Great Wall of China while depicting aliens guarding the Washington Monument and hitting parts of Manhattan, according to Reuters.
- In 2013, Paramount Pictures removed a report that China was the source of the zombie apocalypse virus in the movie “World War Z.” second to the 2020 speech of then-Attorney General William Barr.
- Disney’s 2020 live-action remake of “Mulan” includes credits thanks to the government’s efforts in China’s Xinjiang; second to the Harvard International Review. Trump-era State Department formally to be determined in early 2021 Xinjiang was the site of the Muslim Uyghurs genocide.
- In 2009, Sony and its state-run Chinese affiliate submitted the script for “The Karate Kid” to Chinese censors who were upset about the film’s release, according to the New York Times. The filmmakers reportedly cut twelve minutes of the film and it was later released in China.
- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios changed the national symbols for the soldiers invading the US in the 2012 film “Red Dawn” from Chinese to North Korean, according to the Los Angeles Times in 2011 citing film producer Tripp Vinson.
Some Americans are fed up and Hollywood seems to be paying attention. The movie “Top Gun: Maverick” was accused of leaning towards China when the 2019 trailer for the movie showed the Taiwanese flag missing from actor Tom Cruise’s shirt.
After the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged America, the film was finally released in 2022 and under the Taiwanese banner. it was back in acting jacket hero.
Whether the 2022 final cut of the blockbuster represents a longer-term shift in how American filmmakers are changing to win over China remains to be seen. Disney did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday before Mr. Iger’s meeting with Mr. Gallagher.