By Dr. Dmitry Radyshevsky
Bad guys in old Westerns wore black hats. Today their hats have to be green, red, and blue – for Islamism, Statism (of China and Russia), and Globalism. However, for modern Hollywood, these true enemies of the American people and of the free world are untouchable. It may change in respect to Putin, but not to the rest of the evil trio. Hollywood, boasting its active social position, puts the black hats on fictional or insignificant villains: Aliens, drug dealers, Burmese military, deranged tycoons – never daring to offend the real bad guys: Islamic fanatics, Chinese communists, and radical Globalists.
It used to be different. Hollywood did a good job drumming popular sentiment against Nazis during and after the Second World War, and against the Soviet regime during the Cold War.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the bad guys turned into the “Russian mafia” and other exotic criminal gangs. Islamic terrorists have also sometimes received well-deserved retribution in the movies, especially from the feet and fists of Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Until 9/11 one could even laugh at them – remember the “True Lies” with Schwarzenegger. Then came 9/11, the war in Iraq, when liberals loved to hate and mock George W – and instead of fighting Islamism, Hollywood began to fight Islamophobia.
Even in the rare movies which dared to show Islamist fanaticism and brutality (like The Kingdom, 2007 based on the true story about terror acts against Americans in Saudi Arabia), the moral message was diluted with a false moral relativism that puts some of the blame on the victims themselves.
At the same time, when Russia and China were becoming more and more of a global threat, Hollywood carefully avoided annoying the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon.
The Russian mafia in Brooklyn and the Chinese triads in Hong Kong represented the maximum that Hollywood dared to do. Russian reprisals against dissidents, the war in Chechnya, the Chinese GULAG for critics of the communist regime, or Chinese genocide against the Uyghurs – not a single Hollywood movie has been made about this.
It is much safer to endlessly kick your own government for the war in Vietnam or Iraq, for Iran-Contras, or for support for other military regimes in Central America. The US government will not do anything to Hollywood in response. But attack Russia and especially China, and they will respond. Putin’s Russia can either stage a cyber-attack on the studio, like North Korea did for a film that made fun of their leader (The Interview), or treat the director to tea with plutonium, if he or she takes the risk of making a film about corruption in the Kremlin.
But the most untouchable villain for Hollywood is China. Here Hollywood’s silence is dictated, not by deranged and misplaced political correctness (such as towards Islamists), and not by the staunchly fanatical ideological alignment with radical Globalists, but by the absolutely cynical and greedy servitude to China.
China is the biggest distribution market for Hollywood. Moreover, Chinese companies bought up the shares of most American movie studios and movie theater chains. China essentially owns Hollywood. Not a single Hollywood film in the last two decades has dared to say anything bad about China. The last daredevil, it seems to me, was Richard Gere with his The Red Square in 1997. Gere is a faithful disciple of the Dalai Lama. He always speaks out about the Chinese occupation of Tibet, and I respect him endlessly for that.
Since then, if the “bad guys” happen to look like Chinese – China demands a movie to be re-shot or re-edited – and Hollywood obeys.
As to the bad guys in the blue hats, making an investigative film about Antifa is out of the question at all. Kicking and investigating an already irrelevant KKK or fringe American white neo-Nazis is considered bravery in Hollywood. But making a satire about the cancel culture – one risks becoming its victim. There are no honest filmmakers for this.
I still have hope for the indi-movies – independent cinema. Honest and courageous people should arise who will understand that the truth can bring commercial success as well. Movies that would begin to expose the world of homegrown American Islamism, the horrible atrocities committed by the present Chinese regime, and the sick and cynical mores of “progressivism” can become blockbusters too. Because people in America, and all over the world, want to see in the cinema not only entertainment, but also the truth.
Dr Dmitry Radyshevsky is a Moscow-born Harvard-educated Israeli-American theologian, political analyst and writer. Author of “Universal Zionism” and “The New Maccabees”. He’s the founder of Jerusalem Summit – a think-tank dedicated to uniting the free world around Jerusalem and developing a joint strategy against the twin dangers: “Man without God” of Post-Liberalism and “God without man” of totalitarian states’ Statism and Islamism.