Doctor Strange is an upcoming movie based on the old Marvel Comics character. And while a movie about a sorcerer might not seem like anything significant, it actually is. And it’s significant because Marvel is changing a major Tibetan character to a European one to appease the Chinese. This shows the power of China and it is one of the latest examples of why it is a growing national security threat to the United States.
The Ancient One is a character in the world of Doctor Strange. He is a male Tibetan character in the comic books. But Marvel announced that Tilda Swinton (a British actress) would portray the character in the film adaptation.
The announcement angered social justice warriors who immediately accused Marvel of “whitewashing” the character. That aspect of the story is funny and a great example of how SJW are eating their own at Marvel (and corporate parent Disney). It’s also amusing to see the internecine fighting considering that Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch is a Christophobe.
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But what is even more interesting is that the decision to “whitewash” the Ancient One was made in order to appease the decidedly non-white Chinese and their continually growing power. And C. Robert Cargill, one of the writers of Doctor Strange, revealed this in an April 17 Double Toasted podcast interview. (Transcript is courtesy of Dark Horizons. I edited out two obscenities; Dark Horizons edited out another.)
[The character is] a racist stereotype who comes from a region of the world that is in [a] very weird political place. He originates from Tibet, so if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s b******* and risk the Chinese government going, “Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.”
If you are telling me you think it’s a good idea to cast a Chinese actress as a Tibetan character, you are out of your d*** fool mind and have no idea what the f— you’re talking about. Oh, “she could be Asian!” Asian? She could be Japanese, she could be Indian, really? The levels of cultural sensitivity around this thing is, everyone is staking out their one particular place and not realizing that every single thing here is a losing proposition.
A lot of interesting stuff there. But did you catch that part about China being “one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world”? That’s true. In fact, the Hollywood Reporter reported on March 1 that, “If the current rates of growth keep up in China, the country will surpass North America as the world’s largest film market in early 2017.”
The Hollywood Reporter has steadily reported on other instances of the Chinese takeover of the entertainment industry. For example, it reported on March 13 that, “Anthony and Joe Russo, the sibling director duo behind Marvel’s Captain America franchise, are setting up shop in China.” On March 16 it reported that “Warner Bros.’ Flagship Entertainment Unveils 12-Movie Slate for China.” And on April 25 it reported that the “chairman and CEO of STX, which struck an 18-picture slate deal with China’s Huayi Brothers last year” said that, “If you want a career lasting the next 20 years, you have to be relevant in China.”
But perhaps the most explicit reporting on the power of China in entertainment—and how the Chinese realize the importance of this power—came in, “L.A.’s Mystery Banker Behind Hollywood’s China Money,” a March 3 article from the Hollywood Reporter.
These kind of cross-border deals would have been unheard of just five years ago — along with Ng’s unlikely rise in the clubby world of movie financing. (Other banks in this fraternity include Bank of China.) Ng, a 57-year-old married father of two, acknowledges this with a smile as he points out a massive Chinese calligraphy artwork by artist Xu Bing that hangs in East West’s Pasadena lobby. It is made up of English letters masquerading as Chinese characters that spell out a prophetic line from a Bob Dylan classic: “The Times They Are a Changin’.” “Studios feel insecure today if they don’t have a Chinese partner,” says Ng. “And for the Chinese, Hollywood is the holy land. It is a win-win.”
China has all but taken over the entertainment industry. So why is this a national security concern?
It’s a national security concern because of how entertainment influences and shapes culture. But it’s more than that. The Chinese takeover of the entertainment industry happened because of money. The combination of the growing wealth of the Chinese communists and the purchasing power of the Chinese people as a whole (over 1.3 billion people) is a lot of money. And money is power.
And this power isn’t relegated to the entertainment industry. China is exerting this power economically and militarily as well. This all points to the atheist and communist China eventually becoming the most powerful nation in the world.
The Chinese influence in Doctor Strange and Hollywood at large is just one of many examples of their power. And their power is something that Americans should view as a growing national security threat to the United States.
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