Filmmaker Judd Apatow said in an interview this week that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has managed to force Hollywood to self-censor the content it creates through by buying off the industry.
Apatow made the remarks during an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber while talking about how the industry censors content to avoid upsetting other nations.
“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 make so much money,” Apatow said, noting that the censorship “completely shut(s) down critical content” about important issues.
“Instead of us doing business with China and that leading to China being more free, what has happened is that China has bought our silence with their money,” Apatow later added. “What is a result of that is that we never wake up our country or the world, through art or satire, that people are being mistreated in our country or other countries and that’s very dangerous.”
Americans got a taste for Chinese censorship last year when an NBA team manager was forced to delete a tweet that expressed support for Hong Kong protesters because it caused a major issue with China.
“The Houston Rockets suddenly find themselves in the middle of a geopolitical controversy that could put their chief front-office executive’s job in jeopardy,” The Ringer reported. “After general manager Daryl Morey expressed support in a since-deleted tweet for pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong, the Chinese government, the Chinese Basketball Association, and various Chinese businesses quickly denounced Morey and moved to sever ties with the Rockets. As a consequence, league sources told The Ringer that Rockets ownership has debated Morey’s employment status and whether to replace him.”
NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass released the following statement after the incident:
We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.
Daryl Morey also apologized for standing up for freedom, tweeting: “I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives. I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.”
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