Hollywood is woke. It’s never been woker. Agenda-driven plots and messages in mainstream movies have left many Americans wondering, “Can’t I just watch a movie or scroll social media without having that crap thrown in my face?” 

Well, funny thing: While Hollywood smears leftist goop in our faces, they censor movies and entertainment for audiences in China and the Middle East, removing much of what has so worn us out.

How It Started

We can trace this appeasement back to 1994. China’s economy was becoming more modern and ever-so-slowly opening to the world, and some pretty big American players began moving into China. Following the Cultural Revolution, Chinese movie theaters reopened, but their seats were mostly empty. The only entertainment the government had to offer were horribly boring propaganda films. So, a deal was struck that allowed 10 American films a year into China. 

There were plenty of bumps in the road along the way, with government officials frequently expressing anger at movie studios, but Hollywood executives were well aware of the money-making potential in this massive nation. They didn’t want an angry CCP. Disney was even rumored to have tanked one of their own movies (Kundun directed by Martin Scorsese) in 1997 on purpose to placate Chinese government officials. That wasn’t enough, so they sent Michael Eisner to China to personally apologize.

Immediately after the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, an entourage of Chinese executives flew to Los Angeles for a little free education. They had been chosen by China’s State Administration on Radio, Film, and Television. Their goal? Learn how the American film industry had impacted global culture so they could do the same back home. UCLA film professor Robert Rosen and a group of Hollywood execs were only too happy to oblige. They shared their industry experience with these Communist students and taught them how to influence people through entertainment. Don’t think for a second those lessons were only going to be used back home. 

In 2012, a new deal was struck between then-Vice President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. They agreed on an expansion that would allow 34 foreign films into Chinese theaters. Studios would also get 25% of Chinese ticket sales instead of 13%. That looked like a win for America. Thanks, Joe! But wait a second. Why would China give up 12% of its movie money? Because it allowed them to gain a foothold in Hollywood. 

How It’s Going

There’s an interesting report by PEN titled, “Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing.” Check out this excerpt: “The Chinese government, under Xi Jinping especially, has heavily emphasized its desire to ensure that Hollywood filmmakers—to use their preferred phrase—’tell China’s story well.’ They even go so far as ‘directly inviting Chinese government censors onto their film sets.’”

Money is the root. Let’s take Disney for example. Marvel Studios alone banked more than $1 billion from China’s box office in 2019. That might explain why the producers of Disney’s Mulan thanked the publicity department of the “CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee.” They also thanked the “Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security.” These are the same political and disciplinary institutions that are carrying out social genocide against China’s Uyghur minority. And they’re applauded right there in Mulan’s credits. 

You may have heard where Mulan was filmed. The film location hosts modern-day concentration camps for the Uyghur Muslim population. While the CCP insists the camps are “educational training centers,” human rights leaders worldwide have condemned them as an attempted genocide by the CCP.

For instance, as the Harvard International Review puts it, “Uyghur women are systematically sexually tortured.” And “The process these survivors describe is one of organized genital mutilation, rape, and sterilization of an entire population.” 

Sounds like a great spot to shoot, huh? This doesn’t seem like Walt’s Disney. 

Here’s a brief look at a few other examples of censorship to appease other nations.

  • Brokeback Mountain didn’t air in China. 
  • The remake of Red Dawn initially had China invading America but changed it to North Korea. (In the original, the antagonist was Russia.) That wasn’t enough. China still banned it. 
  • Noah with Russell Crowe was banned in the Middle East for “portrayal of a prophet.” 
  • That quick lesbian kiss J.J. Abrams blindsided us with at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? It sparked quite the controversy here as well as globally. Many audiences overseas didn’t see that. 
  • Christopher Robin? Banned. Why? Someone on social media compared Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. We’re not kidding. 


“You can’t blame China for exploiting divisions and self-doubt in its primary competitor for global supremacy.” (The Wall Street Journal, March 2021.)

Vivek Ramaswamy, the author of “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” puts it this way: “The communist regime in China is using ‘wokeism’ as a geopolitical tool to undermine U.S. democracy. They are using that to divide us.”

So, is China playing us? 

While movies tout patriotism toward China, they tend to paint America in a negative light. The frequency with which Hollywood criticizes America’s political leaders and culture has led many Americans to feel that filmmakers and celebrities hate this country.

While Disney turns a blind eye to genocide in China, they’ve been actively calling attention to human rights abuses here in America. They supported social justice organizations like Black Lives Matter and have reaffirmed their commitment to the ideology and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion. And they targeted a Florida law that protects children from grooming in elementary school. Hollywood’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.

In an article for The National Review, Matthew Continetti wrote, “The same businesses that promote the progressive reconstruction, radical reform, or transformation of the United States are intertwined with the revisionist great power that aims to replace the United States as global hegemon.”

And why does China censor out hypersexual and “woke” content right along with anti-CCP imagery? They understand what weakens a culture. As an article from The Economist put it, “A resurgent China sneers at liberalism for being selfish, decadent and unstable.”

So wokeism, drug use, curse words, homosexual references, and frivolous sex scenes are all cut in China and the Middle East. Wait, how can families here in America get their hands on these copies? 

Scott Chaney is a two-time Addy award-winning copywriter and published songwriter. He’s also the author of a devotional, a novel called “Ray Don Wiggins,” and the western, “Schillinger.” He lives down south near the bay with his wife Janet and three kids.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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