Hollywood’s shameless pandering to China appears to have lost its effectiveness, with major Hollywood productions now being consistently shut out of the Chinese market.
In 2019, 45 Hollywood films were shown in China, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That number dwindled to just 25 this year. The Space Jam sequel starring NBA star (and Chinese propagandist) LeBron James did not get the green light in China. Neither did Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, despite the best pandering efforts of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Another Marvel film, Eternals, never stood a chance, as Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao had criticized China in 2013.
Black Widow and Venom: Let There Be Carnage also didn’t get Chinese releases. And it doesn’t appear that Spider-Man: No Way Home will get one either, though the film netted the third-biggest global box office opening of all time without China.
These failures to reach the Chinese market, combined with Spider-Man’s success without it, should be all the excuse Hollywood needs to quit throwing itself at the feet of the Chinese Communist Party. With no financial reward, all that’s left is the reputational hit of disgracing itself, as actor John Cena did when he begged for forgiveness for referring to Taiwan as a country.
It is a damning indictment of Hollywood that the genocidal CCP is the one breaking off this relationship. The spinelessness of studios, directors, and celebrities, many of whom are quick to lecture people about politics and human rights, has been put on full display. And all of that, at least for now, has become pointless. Now is the time to sever that tie completely, if these Hollywood figures who bring their holier-than-thou attitude to American politics have any sliver of shame left.
Both Spider-Man and Netflix have shown that the entertainment industry does not need China. It is a conscious choice for studios to pander and for celebrities to excuse or ignore genocide while condemning Republican-run states for whatever silly law is the controversy of the day. China is beginning to shut them out despite those choices, and we will be better off culturally for it.