Air University Press


Mapping Chinese Influence in Hollywood

  • Published
  • By MAJ Morgan A. Martin, USA and MAJ Clinton J. Williamson, USA

China has invested in several American industries since its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001. Once an engine for American soft power, Hollywood has seen a dramatic increase in investment from China, with deals being valued at billions of dollars. The resulting financial influence has given Chinese film studios the placement and access necessary to change the content of American films while forcing American film studios to self-censor to appease Beijing’s sensibilities. Although some have recognized that this puts China in a position to leverage Hollywood for its own soft-power goals, there is a gap in the literature concerning whether there are coherent themes and messages in Chinese-funded American films. This paper aims to discern and describe those themes and messages, if present, by using social network analysis, comparative film analysis, and narrative paradigm theory. It concludes that, when depictions of China or of Chinese film characters appear in Chinese-funded American films, they are portrayed in consistent, prescribed ways that are indicative of planned propaganda. The research concludes with two recommendations to mitigate China’s influence in Hollywood and provides suggestions for further research.


AuthorsMAJ Morgan A. Martin, USA and MAJ Clinton J. Williamson, USA
AU Press CodeKP-4
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