It’s no secret by now that former President Barack Obama had disastrous trade deals between the United States and other countries all across the world. President Trump exposed that imbalance when he entered office in 2017.
Trump withdrew the United States from the catastrophic Trans-Pacific Partnership early in his administration’s tenure and has been imposing trade tariffs on other countries that have been taking advantage of our wealth for far too long. This isn’t a globalist America any longer.
But now China’s fighting back and blacklisting Hollywood actors over the trade wars, but it’s not the kind of actor you’re probably thinking of.
It all began at the turn of the century following the commercial success of such Chinese co-productions like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and “Hero” (2002). China realized Chinese-language cinema was a huge market that needed to be tapped in their mainland.
By 2010, Chinese cinema was the third largest film industry by the number of features produced annually, which meant they needed more screens to keep up with the popular demand.
To give you an idea of how fast China is building screens to keep up with their blossoming film market; in December 2013 there were approximately 17,000 screens and by January 6th, 2014, there were 18.195 total screens in the country. Considering the average theater has 12 screens that means they built about 100 theaters in less than a month.
And the growth continues on and on. China is strict about which movies are allowed into their theatrical distribution markets. They usually only take on huge blockbuster science fiction or action/adventure films. Marvel and Disney movies are shoo-ins but if the thematic content is aggressive then you’ll have a harder time doing so. But, hey, that’s communist China for you.
Now China is responding to President Trump’s trade tariffs. They want to get back in any way they can.
They’re not necessarily going to say no to Disney wanting to distribute the upcoming “The Lion King” in their country. That would be silly because it’s money in their pocket.
No, they have blacklisted low-level Hollywood actors who have moved to China to take advantage of non-Chinese roles in Chinese productions.
An actor named Matt William Knowles told the Financial Times his contract in China was expressly terminated due to the trade war.
Knowles said of his former employees, “I can only assume it looks bad for them to be working with an American.”
He also added, “The Chinese film industry has afforded me opportunities that I never dreamt possible. No matter what happens, I will never give up [on] China. That is why what is happening with this political climate is so hurtful to me.”
Unfortunately for Knowles and other actors seeking other opportunities in their career, the trade tariffs President Trump imposed are necessary and vital to the future of the United States economy. He’s sending a message to the world that the days of America funding globalism are over; there’s a new sheriff in town.
But some American actors can still find work in Chinese film and television but they have described the environment as being awkward and tense. Apparently studios are trying to avoid the iron hammer from Beijing forcing them to get rid of all American employees.
But Hollywood won’t respond to this prejudice. Instead they’re making a sequel to “Crazy Rich Asians.”