By Peter Hasson
America’s elite institutions are catering to communist China.
The NBA provided the latest example Sunday night, when league commissioner Adam Silver apologized for Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Rockets star James Harden followed suit and apologized to China for Morey’s tweets.
The New York Nets’ new billionaire owner, Joseph Tsai, slammed Morey in a Facebook post Sunday night. Tsai, the co-founder of Chinese internet titan Alibaba, described Morey’s tweet as “so damaging to the relationship with our fans in China,” adding that “the hurt that this incident has caused will take a long time to repair.”
China Daily, the communist government’s propaganda arm, used the NBA’s conciliatory reaction to warn other companies to learn “a lesson: The big Chinese market is open to the world, but those who challenge China’s core interests and hurt Chinese people’s feelings cannot make any profit from it.”
The NBA isn’t alone in bowing to communist China.
American universities have allowed the Chinese government to fund centers called Confucius Institutes that provide the communist regime with avenues to infuse pro-China propaganda into American academia. Eighty-nine Confucius Institutes were operating in the U.S. as of September 2019, according to the National Association of Scholars.
Hollywood has self-censored for years in order to ensure access to the Chinese market. The U.S. government published a report in 2015 detailing how filmmakers tailor their messaging to appease Chinese audiences and—more importantly—Chinese government censors.
“U.S. filmmakers self-censor scenes, dialogue, images, and themes they fear will jeopardize their film’s chance of receiving Chinese approval for import,” stated the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s report, titled, “Directed by Hollywood, Edited by China.”
“For a type of movie, particularly the global blockbusters, they are not going to go and make something that the Chinese would reject for social or political reasons,” Peter Shiao, the CEO of an “independent Hollywood-Chinese coproduction studio,” told the commission.
MGM Studios digitally altered the 2012 remake of “Red Dawn” to change the invading army’s nationality from Chinese—as was the case during filming—to North Korean.
The Walt Disney Company threatened to boycott Georgia in May if a pro-life law took effect, even though the company apparently has no issue doing business with the Chinese regime, which is a notorious human rights violator.
Athletic apparel giant Nike pulled a shoe line from Chinese markets in June after the shoes’ designer tweeted support for the Hong Kong protesters. “Nike’s appeasement of China fits into a larger and more dangerous pattern of kowtowing by Western companies to Beijing’s demands for censorship,” the Washington Post’s editorial board warned at the time.
The NFL is apparently looking to emulate the NBA in accessing Chinese revenue streams. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell described China in January as a “priority market.”
“China is a priority market for the NFL,” Goodell said. “We believe that our game has a great deal of potential to expand to grow and bring new fans into our game.”
“We have had double-digit growth this past year in China in our fan base and people engaging with our game,” he added. “So we are excited by it.”
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