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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Hollywood and Disney Attacked in China's Patriotic Children's Books

Disney, and Hollywood in general, has shown a determination to appeal to Chinese audiences by acquiescing to the guidelines set by Chinese state censors. That has not been enough to prevent the Chinese Communist Party-run government from attacking Hollywood both in and around China.

Following the passing of a draconian national security law on July 1, 2020, Hong Kong has undergone a wide array of changes to journalism, politics and education in order to ensure patriotism and support for the Chinese Communist Party-controlled government of China. To that end, the Hong Kong government announced in March that schools will include a 48-volume set of children's books titled "My Home is China."

Journalist Mary Hui recently highlighted the language used in some of these books. One of the excerpts reads, "Getting bored of Hollywood and Disney movies or animations? Wonderful movies from the Belt and Road are available." Worth noting is that the Belt and Road Initiative is a set of infrastructure plans launched by the Chinese government in 2013 to promote economic development between participating countries. Another excerpt taken from the book set reads, "It would be cheaper to import goods from the Belt and Road countries. The quality and variety will be better."

Currently, Hong Kong continues to be open in terms of its film industry, though recent reports suggest that the national security law will bring about changes as future projects may fail to satisfy the newly implemented amendments to the film censorship ordinance.

The amendments demand that Hong Kong film censors "be vigilant to the portrayal, depiction or treatment of any act or activity which may amount to an offence endangering national security," as it is vaguely defined in the set of ordinances comprising the national security law, also referred to as The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Concerns were raised earlier this year after the Academy Awards were banned in Hong Kongfor the first time in 1969 just as it was in mainland China. This was due to the award nominations for Chloe Zhao and for the documentary, Do Not Split, which revolved around the 2019 pro-democracy protests. There are also concerns that in the future, Hong Kong film censors will be forced to ban films similar to Todd Phillips' Joker and Tim Miller's Deadpool, which were both banned in mainland China.

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