Killing The Interview Opens Studios to Terrorist Manipulation | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly:
"Emily Carman, assistant professor of film and media arts at Chapman University, says Hollywood received pressure from the Chinese government in 1932 and 1933 with the releases of Shanghai Express and The Bitter Tea of General Yen, respectively.
The films featured white actors in yellowface as well as interracial relationships.
"It was a racist, Eurocentric view of China," Carman said.
Leaders threatened to block film distribution in China, but Hollywood did not back down, she said.
The Interview also hits a familiar note of insensitivity toward an Asian nation. Before that, in 2001, the Ben Stiller comedy Zoolander featured a plot about a fashion model recruited to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia. That nation and neighboring Singapore banned its exhibition.
"Can you imagine the outcry if North Korean released, Get Obama, about the assassination of a sitting president," asks Douglas Thomas, associate professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
"It's amazing that this even got green-lit," Carman adds. "Wow, nothing's really changed. This is still a white male, Western-centric view of a small Asian nation."
Let me say that I think these points are wrong in every particular.
The movies from the 1930's were not racist, the characters were fully developed human beings on both sides of the racial divide. That is what made them compelling movies.
And no, I can't imagine the outcry if North Korea released a movie about the assassination of a sitting president because Hollywood itself has released precisely such a movie--not a comedy--where the assassination of a sitting president is envisaged and actually viewed approvingly. Of course, in that case the sitting president was a Republican, so it was ok.
The movie treats the assassination of the leader of a "small Asian nation" as something to laugh about not because of the color of the leader's skin but because of the monstrous nature of his regime. It is a measure of the absurd fetishization of race by our intellectuals that the salient feature of the controversy is not the totalitarian regime the monster runs but the color of the monster's skin.
The battle for freedom of thought and speech must be won in the hearts of the people if it is to survive in government. Sadly, it has already been lost among our tenured intellectual class.