Disney Pressed American Magazine to Delete Star Director's Quote Criticizing China: Report

Disney Pressed American Magazine to Delete Star Director's Quote Criticizing China: Report

According to a Hollywood Reporter article published Friday, the Disney-owned studio Searchlight pressured the American magazine Filmmaker to remove a quote from its profile of Chinese director Chloé Zhao because it was critical of China's authoritarian regime.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • When asked about the inspiration for her first feature film, Songs My Brother Taught Me, Zhao said she identified with the main character — a Native American teenager attempting to flee South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She, too, hoped to escape the Chinese Communist Party's dictatorial grip as a child.
  • She said in the interview, "It goes back to when I was a teenager in China, being in a place where there are lies everywhere," the quote read. "You felt like you were never going to be able to get out. A lot of info I received when I was younger was not true, and I became very rebellious toward my family and my background. I went to England suddenly and relearned my history. Studying political science in a liberal arts college was a way for me to figure out what is real. Arm yourself with information, and then challenge that too."
  • Filmmaker magazine removed the quote from its website, but archived versions resurfaced in China following Zhao's win for best director at the Golden Globes ceremony.
  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chinese officials responded by canceling the local release of Zhao's latest film Nomadland in April and burying the incident by removing all traces of her mention on the internet.

Read the original story here.

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