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I’m Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. Hu

The brave folks in Hollywood are scrambling to alter an upcoming movie so as not to offend the Chinese:

When MGM decided a few years ago to remake “Red Dawn,” a 1984 Cold War drama about a bunch of American farm kids repelling a Soviet invasion, the studio needed new villains, since the U.S.S.R. had collapsed in 1991. The producers substituted Chinese aggressors for the Soviets and filmed the movie in Michigan in 2009.

But potential distributors are nervous about becoming associated with the finished film, concerned that doing so would harm their ability to do business with the rising Asian superpower, one of the fastest-growing and potentially most lucrative markets for American movies, not to mention other U.S. products.

As a result, the filmmakers now are digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from “Red Dawn,” substituting dialogue and altering the film to depict much of the invading force as being from North Korea, an isolated country where American media companies have no dollars at stake.

Sure, this makes sense – because in their commercial ventures, the Chinese are so worried about American concerns. Why portray Chinese military aggression on the big screen when it’s more lucrative to facilitate Chinese financial aggression in real life?

Perhaps I’m just being insensitive. Dan Mintz, of DMG Entertainment, said if the Chinese weren’t swapped out for North Koreans, in the Chinese market “there would have been a real backlash. It’s like being invited to a dinner party and insulting the host all night long.”

And who would do such a thing? Actually, there is an answer. Here’s the January 24 New York Post:

Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang gave a musical shout out to America-hating patriots in his homeland when he played at the White House state dinner last week.

During his performance, Lang tinkled the ivories with the famous anti-American propaganda tune “My Motherland” — the theme song from the Chinese-made Korean War movie “Battle on Shangangling Mountain.”

Chinese President Hu Jintao, the guest of honor at the dinner, surely recognized the melody. The song has been a favorite anti-American propaganda tool for decades.

Yes, a favorite anti-American propaganda tool. Kind of like Hollywood.



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