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Judd Apatow blasts Hollywood for kowtowing to Chinese censors for money: 'Insidious'

'It happened very slowly'

Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

In an interview with The New Yorker titled, "The Future of America's Contest with China," producer and comedian Judd Apatow said that Hollywood is shameful for bowing to Chinese censors in order to continue lining Hollywood's platinum-plated pockets.

What did he say?

In the interview, which was released Monday, Apatow said that film companies flat-out refuse to stir the pot and produce storylines that are "critical" of countries with a large interest in the vastly lucrative U.S. film industry.

The New Yorker's Evan Osnos wrote, "Judd Apatow, the filmmaker and comedian, told me that Americans intended to introduce freedom to China, but instead traded it for Chinese money."

"I think it happened very slowly and insidiously," Apatow told Osnos. "You would not see a major film company or studio make a movie that has storylines which are critical of countries with major markets or investors."

He continued, "The result is, there are a million or more Muslims in reeducation camps in China, and you don't really hear much about it."

Apatow also pointed to legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who refused to remarket the Chinese version of his latest film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."

China cancelled the nationwide release after complaints from Bruce Lee's family about how the actor and martial arts expert was portrayed in the 2019 film.

"Tarantino is successful enough, and has the power and final cut, but very few people are in that position of strength," Apatow said. "What you don't hear about is all of the ideas that get killed at the earliest pitch stage, at all of the studios and networks, because people don't even want to consider dealing with it."

What else?

In October, Apatow tweeted similar sentiments, pointing to the fiasco between NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and a Houston general manager's remarks about supporting the Hong Kong protesters.

In response, China announced that it would not broadcast the NBA's preseason games.

"We believe that any speech challenging a country's national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech," a statement on the decision read.

Apatow wrote, "So people should tell China to not distribute movies if they think real people are not portrayed accurately? Some movies work better than others in this respect. Who decides when something is good enough to not call China? If China is mad can they bench a specific NBA player?"

One last thing…
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