Senate

Cruz threatens to stop federal agencies from cooperating with Hollywood over China ‘censorship’

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) threatened to stop federal agencies from cooperating with Hollywood productions Thursday during a speech he made on the Senate floor.

The senator was introducing a new piece of legislation, the SCRIPT Act, that seeks to hamper the modification of American movies in China.

It is a common practice for major studios to make their films palatable to consumers in the Asian country. However, Cruz called the edits acts of censorship and compared them to foreign propaganda.

The senator said he is “vigilant about the Chinese government’s attempts to censor and silence elsewhere, including our own nation.”

The bill would ban all federal agencies from participating in productions that “censor” or change American films for Chinese consumption. A previous version of the bill only prohibited participation by the Department of Defense.

Filmmakers rely on the government for the use of things like government logos, military bases, aircraft carriers and federal buildings to film content for TV and movies centered on topics like the armed forces and space exploration. 

The senator used the example of actor Tom Cruise’s character in the forthcoming sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.”

He noted the character’s jacket was missing Japanese and Taiwanese flags in promotional images and trailers, which he believes was done to please Chinese censors.

“What message does it send that Maverick, an American icon, is apparently afraid of the Chinese communists?” Cruz said. “That’s ridiculous.”

The bill comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China, as President Trump has blamed the country for the  spread of the coronavirus.

Trump’s reelection campaign has also said it plans to make former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) past relationship with China a central pressure point during the upcoming election. 

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Ted Cruz

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