Hollywood’s Red Dawn

Ben Shapiro is a Senior Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. He is the author of the new book "The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration" (Threshold Editions).


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“One of the most dangerous plots ever instigated for the overthrow of this Government has its headquarters in Hollywood.”  The year was 1945.  The speaker was Rep. John E. Rankin (D-Mississippi).  The forum was the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Rankin was a racist, a bigot, and an overall nasty fellow.  On this, however, he was absolutely right.  The only problem is that he was 70 years too early.

Of course, he was somewhat right when he spoke the words, too.  Ronald Reagan was head of the Screen Actors Guild from 1947-1952, and again in 1959-1960.  During that time, he watched as Communist revolutionaries infiltrated the unions, attempting to shut down the studios and turn the instruments of culture toward anti-American ideologies.  They remained a vocal minority inside Hollywood, but a dangerous one.

Now, the threat is much greater.  The threat remains Communist.  It is no longer Russian, and it is no longer internal.  The threat comes from abroad, and it comes in the form of cash.

The dirty little secret within Hollywood for the last decade has been the industry’s reliance on Chinese cash.  The Chinese movie audience is the fastest growing audience in the world; Fox, Warner, Sony and Disney have developed local programming for the Chinese market.  James Cameron’s Avatar — which, as an environmentalist critique of first world imperialism, you would figure the Chinese would love — earned over $200 million in country.  2012 and Transformers 2 also blew the doors off the box office in China.  During 2010, move than 1,000 movie theaters opened.

During the 1990s, European markets traditionally provided the extra boost for American box office offerings.  Frequently, movies with large budgets would be released to certain loss in the United States with the knowledge that the European audiences would fill in the gap, or that the movie could be licensed to different countries at premiums that would fix the balance sheet.  As more and more movies began to take advantage of foreign markets, however, the market was saturated.  New sources of cash had to be found.

Hollywood, like Washington, D.C., looked East.

In December, Legendary Pictures, producers of Batman Begins, Superman Returns, 300, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, The Town, and the recently-released Sucker Punch, among others, sold 3.3% of its equity to Hong Kong’s Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment.  The press release from Legendary explained, “The transaction is party of an effort to explore broader partnership opportunities in China and beyond …”  That’s just one case in point.  I’ve personally looked at proposals from multiple companies looking to raise significant cash – in the hundreds of millions of dollars – from the Chinese government.  Also in December, China Daily reported that increasing numbers of Chinese companies are looking to coopt Hollywood talent, “speeding up their internationalization and strengthening ties with their peers across the Pacific through direct investment in Hollywood, as the dream factor has seen financing from its home market drying up in recent years.”

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  • Fred Dawes

    for over a year i have been saying just that it is away of control over what you watch and the end game is control over your life. and Rankin was a nasty rat but he was right and the reason why is a rat knows a rat, it is sad to see a great nation die, but understand one fact if you do not act against evil that evil will eat you alive, and the fact this movie was stopped by evil pigs in red china is just a signpost of what is to come, and if i am right evil comes down this road.

  • Chezwick_mac

    This is a paradigm certainly not relegated to Hollywood. China is our biggest creditor. As they accumulate dollars via trade surpluses to the tune of $200/250 billion a year and growing – (yes folks, that's a transfer of 1 trillion dollars every 4 to 5 years) – they obviously want to utilize their dollar holdings for maximum gain.

    Whereas 20 years ago, American companies were investing in China, today, the reverse is occurring. But unlike China, we have no laws mandating majority American ownership of enterprises.

    Hence, China continues to accumulate an increasing portion of US land, industry, know-how…a process that is accelerating by the year. We are becoming indentured servants on our own land…and all because we are living beyond our means and need Chinese money to finance our lifestyle.

    We keep hearing words like "unsustainable" being uttered by politicians referring to our massive deficits and debt. It is EXACTLY that. Absent the will to make the necessary sacrifices to get it under control, we are headed for implosion….revolution…the end of the Republic!

    This isn't demagoguery, folks. It is the perfectly predictable outcome of habitual profligate spending and the inevitable fiscal insolvency that follows. It's so frigg'n sad.

    • Jim_C

      OK, so maybe next time it'd be a good idea not to try nation building in the ME?

      You're def. right it's a sad situation. But China still needs us more than we need them.

  • Andres de Alamaya

    I don't believe MGM Studio has any more corporate links to MGM Casinos. The former has had a succession of managements that have scalped it, sold off old film assets and produced a series of losers while the latter is a relatively successful entity in the world of gambling and tourism. The old so-called communists, victims of Sen. McCarthy, were misguided anti-establishmentarians of little danger to America. The only difference between the "thought control" of the totalitarian regime in China to that of Obama who forbids his administration to ever mention the word "Muslim" in the same sentence with "terrorist" is a matter of degree. While their rulings are designed to protect their state, Obama's rulings are designed to destroy our state. Hollywood has been a Vietnam type quagmire for investors from all parts of the world and if the Chinese dive into Hollywood, they will soon learn that their funds are just as easily lost as those of capitalists with dreams. This article has no focus and little meaning.

    • zsqpwxxeh

      "The old so-called communists, victims of Sen. McCarthy, were misguided anti-establishmentarians of little danger to America."

      The old so-called communists were actually Communists, agents and fellow travellers of a hostile tyrannical regime headed by Josef Stalin, and they were an actual security threat to this country.

      (Fixed it for you.)

    • Stephen_Brady

      Everyone's a "victim", these days …

      Tell me, Andreas, was Alger Hiss a "so-called communist", or was he a real communist?

      • Jim_C

        "Everyone's a "victim", these days … "

        And nobody moreso than conservatives, right?

        • Stephen_Brady

          Actually, it's the Left that wants to make victims out of everyone. The Right wants people to take advantage of their God-given, Constitutionally-guaranteed, blood-purchased opportunties as Americans.

          Hollywood doesn't understand this. They are completely out of touch with what it is to be an American.

          I'm a conservative, and I am NOT a victim. You are a victim of your ideology, and of the Left. I pity you.

  • Questions

    Mainstream film studios see a growing, increasingly affluent market and expand there, like any businessman. They want their creative product to have maximum audience. It's about business, not ideology. As for the Chinese government, it's less about Mao than about racial-national triumph. The ruling philosophy: "China, mo bettah!!"

    BTW, Hollywood has come out with a few very anti-Communist Chinese films over the past decade or two. Think of "Red Corner" (1997), starring Richard Gere.

  • zsqpwxxeh

    Cowardice should never be rewarded. Boycott the movie and hurt the producers who caved in the only area they care about, box office receipts.

  • rturpin

    Newsflash! Hollywood is a business. It might puzzle some that conservatives have to be reminded of that. And of the implications of that. But here's the other newsflash: many conservatives are pro-capitalist only for some fantasized notion of how capitalism works. One might say, a Hollywood view of capitalism.

  • Jerry

    New China is being established in California. It does not make economic sense to show up at a house with a suitcase full of cash and offer to pay $20,000 over market price, but that is what Chinese do in targeted areas such as Monterey Park, Hacienda Heights, San Gabriel, Alhambra, etc.

    Signs go up in Chinese and Chinese frequent those shops and don't shop at other shops. Chinese businesses have a competitive advantage by hiring Chinese illegal aliens, reporting zero employees, and paying cash under the table thus avoiding workers compensation insurance expense, and payroll taxes. They sell by cash and keep much of the sales tax collected. With litte or no income to report they apply for welfare and Medicare.

    As the area begins to fill up with Chinese signs, the old locals feel like outsiders. Chinese residents in Monterey Park will ask non-Chinese, isn't it time to go now? Real Estate agents send out flyers with the same message.

  • Jerry

    (continued)

    Homes purchased by richer Chinese (Communist Party Members) are rented to illegal immigrants who can afford a home by pooling 30 people together pricing out families. Rich Chinese gain a further foothold by Maternity Tourism, birthing giving a child American Citizenship, but raising them in China to have loyalty to Communist China. The City of San Gabriel is now a hot point for internet identity theft operations from these homes.

    They have over a billion people to flood the country. No politician wants to be labeled as "racist" by addressing this problem and there is nominal immigration enforcement. City by city California will be conquered. It's the strategy of Sun Tzu's "Art of War"

    If 50 years from now people loyal to China become the majority of California and vote to separate from the U.S., will America want to go to War with China? I don't think so.

  • Jerry

    (continued)

    Can this be managed to the advantage of the U.S. with proper immigration controls and indoctrination of American values of the melting pot? Yes. But the dominant politic in California indoctrinates students with immigration control is racist, America is guilty of historical crimes, all other cultures are only spoken about as beautiful and America is a "Mosaic."