The world has become a much smaller place over the course of the last several decades, thanks in part to the advent of the internet and the continued push toward globalism that has permeated much of the international community.
And while we often worry about the effects of globalism in an economic realm, there are also some major cultural shifts occurring as well, with major entertainment companies actively censoring themselves in order to appeal to audiences far away from their primary demographics. At the forefront of this cultural homogeny is China, whose enormous population carries with it a massive financial gravity.
It was only months ago that the NBA capitulated to China by disavowing comments by players and owners that showed support for the democratic ambitions of Hong Kong, an event that was itself preceded by Disney similarly adjusting their products as to not offend the Chinese government.
This week, an infamously liberal Hollywood director is speaking out against this censorship, and using strong language to make his point.
Hollywood director Judd Apatow has slammed Hollywood’s willingness to censor its content to appease China, saying that Beijing has successfully bought the “silence” of the industry’s power players on matters concerning human rights atrocities in the communist country.
In a preview of an upcoming interview for Mavericks with Ari Melber, Apatow — known for The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Anchorman, and Talladega Nights — called out a “corporate type of censorship that people don’t really notice” for regimes such as communist China and the Saudi Arabian monarchy.
His language was tough.
“A lot of these giant corporate entities have business with countries around the world, Saudi Arabia or China, and they’re just not going to criticize them, and they’re not going to let their shows criticize them, or they’re not going to air documentaries that go deep into truthful areas because they just make so much money,” Apatow explained.
What Apatow described as “much scarier” is how Hollywood has “completely shut down critical content about human rights abuses in China” by refusing to cover and include those themes on screen.
“[If I said] I want to write a movie about the concentration camps in China and Muslims in concentration camps. I want to write a movie about someone who escapes, no one would buy the pitch,” the Girls creator said. “Instead of us doing business with China and that leading to China becoming more free, what has happened is a place like China has bought our silence with their money.”
China’s human rights abuses are well documented, and there are an increasing number of prominent entertainers who refuse to stand idly by and allow the Asian superpower’s buying power whitewash these horrid actions.
Become an insider!
Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.