Something very sketchy is happening in China's film community. A THR article has this subheadline:
"With Fan Bingbing accused of tax fraud, 'Crazy Rich Asians' failing to land a Chinese release and film stocks plummeting, president Xi Jinping's crackdown on "money worship" is reshaping the country's cultural landscape: "The government is going to make examples out of a lot of high-profile people."
On Sept. 16, Jia Zhangke premiered his film "Ash Is Purest White" in Beijing, yet nowhere to be found were actors Feng Xiaogang and Fan Bingbing. Now, Fan and Feng are both missing, with their penchant for being tax evaders not going unnoticed. Did the Chinese government "interfere"?
"The government is going to make examples out of a lot of high-profile people who've made a lot of money and spent a lot of time in the West, because that's not what a good Chinese citizen does," said a U.S. producer who works frequently in China to THR.
China and Hollywood have had a sleazy relationship these last few years, what with China trying to take over the Hollywood market, and successfully doing so might I add. However, this has resulted in Hollywood studios making concessions in favor of pleasing the Chinese market, which has had a rigorous reputation of not releasing films due to its government's demands, such as anything with gay themes or being critical of its government and its communist attitudes.
Warner Bros. learned it the hard way last month when they all but conceded that "Crazy Rich Asians" would not receive a Chinese release. Sure, in the U.S. the film has been heralded as a groundbreaker for Chinese-American cinema, but in China, THR reports that the "Communist Party officials [are] berating the country's stars for encouraging "money worship" among the youth. China Rich Girlfriend [the sequel] which is primarily set among Shanghai's one-percenters, will almost certainly run into trouble if it tries to shoot in China."
I'm sure you remember a write-up I wrote which had to do with China boycotting Disney’s "Christopher Robin." Memes that were circulating online, comparing the looks of President Xi to Winnie the Pooh's, did not please the Chinese head. John Oliver made fun of the whole thing, which had China completely erasing Oliver from the internet in their country.