MUMBAI: A Hollywood studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer has digitally
removed all Chinese villains from its action flick Red
Dawn, which recently released in the United States,
in order to avoid antagonising Beijing.
The plot of the film revolves around a Chinese invasion
of America in which a hit squad of teenagers from a
high school football team saves the day. When the authorities
at MGM realised the storyline could offend Beijing -
jeopardising the films chances of making it to
the lucrative Chinese market - they digitally removed
all references to China.
As a result the villains now belong to North Korean
(in the movie) and all reference to the Chinese flag
and symbols have been replaced with North Korean ones.
The film is a remake of a 1984 Cold War film of the
same name, which starred Patrick Swayze and Charlie
Sheen where the Russians were shown as the invaders.
China is one of the fastest growing markets for Hollywood
movies at nearly $1.5 billion. Moreover, the new Chinese
president Xi Jinping is said to be a big fan of Hollywood
DMG Entertainment owner Dan Mintz was quoted in the
LA Times as saying that if the movie had gone out in
its original form there would have been a real
backlash. Its like being invited to a dinner party
and insulting the host all night long. Theres
no way to look good ... The film itself was not a smart
move. The company is a leading producer and distributor
of movies in China.
In the past too, Beijing has stopped its business dealings
with US studios which have criticised its government
like the 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad
latest James Bond movie Skyfall is currently not due
for release in China either. The distributors of the
movie are in negotiations with Beijing over the its
release in the country owing to a part in the film that
shows a former secret agent being tortured by the Chinese.