Once upon a time, in the days when Russia was called the Soviet Union and Russians did things far more menacing than take out ads on websites, there was a thing called a “blacklist” in Hollywood. People on the blacklist were communists, who despite being paid lavish sums to write or act in motion pictures, sympathized with a tyrannical and genocidal regime that sought America’s destruction. Being “blacklisted” meant that by popular agreement between the heads of the various studios you would not be allowed to work as, say, a screenwriter (at least under your own name anyway).

Then as now being against the blacklist was Good; being in favor of it was Bad. Also Bad was giving testimony about Hollywood communism before a committee in the House of Representatives — so Bad, in fact, that many years later, in 1999, when one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema was given a major award, many of his colleagues in the industry refused to stand or applaud. The idea, as I understand it, was that the principle of free expression is sacred. It should extend even to support for America’s enemies. Even a gentlemen’s agreement like the blacklist (as opposed to actual state-enforced censorship) is unconscionable, as is any action that betokens even the faintest support for it.

This is a story that will be familiar to anyone who attended an American high school. It is also nonsense. That is why today no one particularly cares about Hollywood’s base submission to Chinese censorship of its films. One waits in vain for Ed Harris, one of the many actors who insulted Elia Kazan two decades ago, to say so much as a word about the changes made at Beijing’s insistence to Top Gun: Maverick. This picture …read more

Source:: The Week – World


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