Sen. Ted Cruz will introduce legislation cutting off Defense Department assistance for US movie studios that permit China to censor their content, he announced.
Cruz (R-Tx.) said the bill, called the “Stopping Censorship, Restoring Integrity, Protecting Talkies” Act, would bar Hollywood studios from doing business with the Pentagon if they accommodate Chinese censors.
It is common for major Hollywood films to work with the Pentagon in order use Defense Department assets such as jets, tanks or naval bases. Cruz’s legislation would prohibit DoD from providing access to such assets to US studios that censor its films for screening in the Communist nation.
“For too long, Hollywood has been complicit in China’s censorship and propaganda in the name of bigger profits. The SCRIPT Act will serve as a wakeup call by forcing Hollywood studios to choose between the assistance they need from the American government and the dollars they want from China,” the Texas Republican said in a statement.
The senator’s office said that he would introduce the bill when the Senate is next in session.
Cruz has long been a critic of China, particularly with regard to censoring content.
Last year, he slammed Paramount Picture’s decision to censor portions of the film “Top Gun: Maverick” to appease Chinese propaganda rules, telling the Washington Free Beacon at the time that “Hollywood is afraid to stand up for free speech.”
Controversy mounted after fans noticed in a trailer for the remake of the classic film that the jacket worn by lead actor Tom Cruise had been altered to remove two patches showing the Japanese and Taiwanese flags.
The patches appeared to be altered in an effort to adhere to the Chinese Communist Party’s strict censorship guidelines and access the country’s lucrative market.
“Top Gun is an American classic, and it’s incredibly disappointing to see Hollywood elites appease the Chinese Communist Party. The Party uses China’s economy to silence dissent against its brutal repression and to erode the sovereignty of American allies like Taiwan. Hollywood is afraid to stand up for free speech and is enabling the Party’s campaign against Taiwan,” he said at the time.
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