Forget the media's old sob stories about how the tariff wars are going to raise the price of disposable cups and guacamole. Wait till they find out that the next five hundred million dollar movie is going to have to cut its budget down to a mere two hundred million.
China is reportedly giving the silent treatment to non-Disney movies.
As the United States ups the stakes in a trade war, there are growing signs that China is quietly retaliating against the U.S. entertainment business.
Beijing is now constricting Hollywood’s ability to peddle its product in the country, say four people who conduct business in China or closely monitor its relations with Hollywood.
China has always restricted Hollywood.
And Hollywood's culture warriors have been happy to give Communist censors script approval, and give them control of their movies. China limits movie releases and makes Hollywood plead for every release.
So now Hollywood is getting frozen out more than usual. Except for Disney, the most toxic of the studios.
But the Hollywood whining misses the point. This is exactly why there's a tariff war.
American companies operating in China are at a huge disadvantage. Chinese companies can do whatever they want in America. That's not just true of the movie industry.
This is about fairness for American companies. And that would also benefit Hollywood.