Artists of the World, Unite

Artists of the World, Unite

Heard about the new James Bond movie, soon going into production, which features a Chinese hacker who manages to penetrate the northeastern United States’ electric grid?

Thought so. It is not actually in production, nor is it ever going to be. From now on, entertainment may feature American villains, Russian villains, evil Iranians, Germans, and cops, but there won’t be a new Dr. No. Chinese censors wouldn’t like it, so why bother trying? Attempts to stay on China’s good side have gone so far that in its new live-action version of the movie Mulan, Disney even credits the Turpan Public Security Bureau, an institution that helps operate Uighur internment camps.

Such behavior is not just demeaning to the artists involved, it’s harmful to democracy. And although the Chinese censors are mighty, they can be defeated through collective action. Artists of the world, unite!

For the past several years, a specter has been haunting Europe, North America, Japan, South Korea, and many other democratically ruled lands: censorship. Beijing has done its best to strengthen that ghost through its various weapons for controlling the media: its State Film Administration, State Administration of Radio and Television, and State Administration of Press and Publication; the China Film Group Corporation; the China Film Co-Production Corporation; and the Central Committee Publicity Department.