Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Open Letter from Japan to China

Dear China,

It's been a while since we've last written but you'll understand since we've been up to our knees in human misery and flood water. I mean- it's not easy cleaning up after a horrific earthquake and tsunami. Most of our buildings are built to withstand earthquakes and your schools aren't.

Anyway, we'd feel awfully amiss if we didn't comment on this (trust us- the emphasis is all ours):

China has become such an important market for U.S. entertainment companies that one studio has taken the extraordinary step of digitally altering a film to excise bad guys from the Communist nation lest the leadership in Beijing be offended.

When MGM decided a few years ago to remake "Red Dawn," a 1984 Cold War drama about a bunch of American farm kids repelling a Soviet invasion, the studio needed new villains, since the U.S.S.R. had collapsed in 1991. The producers substituted Chinese aggressors for the Soviets and filmed the movie in Michigan in 2009.

But potential distributors are nervous about becoming associated with the finished film, concerned that doing so would harm their ability to do business with the rising Asian superpower, one of the fastest-growing and potentially most lucrative markets for American movies, not to mention other U.S. products.

As a result, the filmmakers now are digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from "Red Dawn," substituting dialogue and altering the film to depict much of the invading force as being from North Korea, an isolated country where American media companies have no dollars at stake.

The changes illustrate just how much sway China's government has in the global entertainment industry, even without uttering a word of official protest. Although it's unclear if anyone in China has seen "Red Dawn," a leaked version of the script last year resulted in critical editorials in the Global Times, a communist party-controlled paper.

Are you kidding us?


North Korea- a nation of about 22 million starving people, save Kim Fatty and the chubby lad he wants to replace him, a nation with either a non-existent or rusty infrastructure, is the lead villain, the invading force in the remake of Red Dawn.

Next thing you'll be telling us is that you are nothing like the despots in the Middle East and northern Africa or that you won't be selling pirated copies of this anywhere.

Now, we can tolerate a remake or two and there is the willing suspension of disbelief but this takes the cake and steps on it. There is NO way you can convince even the most bovine teen-ager that North Korea is a viable or realistic movie villain. Do you think no one has seen Team America? And that you're willing to let your lapdog take the fall for you says so much about your opinion of them. Tsk-tsk.

What it must be like to have the power to censor something without lifting a finger.

We suppose it's more Hollywood's fault than yours but you are still not off the hook (not that we expect anything out of Hollywood).

We'll come up with something. That's the great thing about living in a free (albeit somewhat innovatively-stunted) country. You can come up with anything, produce it, sell it and make a billion yen.

Tell that to your slave-drivers who own the factories.

Yours' in celluloid,


We think that says: "America, we have better posters than you do." We're not sure.


Anonymous said...

The Japanese have not exactly been angels, historically, but China has been taking a very great deal and contributing nothing for many years now. The U.S. needs to be concerned about the Communist nation's feelings and are unable to outright boycott because China has come to own so much American debt, largely through negotiating in bad faith. Every OTHER Western nation ought to be boycotting China for the sake of human rights, for the sake of the environment, for the common GD good ...

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

At least Japan isn't an octopus that lets children live in cancer villages.