Oh, those wacky Mainland Chinese. If they’re not doing something silly like banning the innocuous “Rush Hour 3” for daring to have Chinese villains, they’re banning Hollywood, period. That’s the news from Variety, who reports that the Chinese ban came from the communist country’s Propaganda Ministry. (Geez, is it me or am I the only one who feels kind of squeamish that they actually have something called The Propaganda Ministry?) The ban is effectivelimmediately, and will continue until March of 2008, although they can always decide to lengthen it at a whim.
Reasons for the drastic action are threefold and appear to be a mixture of major politics and industry issues.
First, the ban is another example of the growing rift between China and the U.S. as the former becomes an economic, military and political powerhouse. China recently expressed its displeasure over the U.S. sale of weapons to Taiwan and objected to Congress honoring the Dalai Lama.
Second, the film ban is seen in some quarters as retaliation against the Motion Picture Assn.’s studio members for persuading the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to take action against China through the World Trade Organization over intellectual property protection and market access.
A third reason for the ban is that such blackouts are one of China’s regular exercises in massaging figures so that local films have at least half the box office.
So no “Bee Movie” for the Chinese people? But however will they survive without talking animated bees???