Adam Sandler provided some casual insight into Hollywood’s foreign relations in an appearance on the “Dan Patrick Show” last week. Discussing his new Netflix movie “Hustle,” Sandler revealed the original script had his character scouting professional basketball players in China. Netflix, according to Sandler, inspired or demanded a location change.
“I find a player in China and somehow Netflix is not in China, so they were like, ‘Would you guys please make it so we find somebody in Latin America or Europe?’ So the next thing you know, I’m in Majorca,” Sandler told Patrick.
Netflix, blaming the “regulatory environment,” has never been able to launch in the lucrative Chinese market. As we’ve covered in detail, that market gives the country’s authoritarian regime enormous influence over Hollywood. But that influence stops at Netflix, one of America’s biggest platforms for entertainment. Netflix’s independence from China gives it a creative edge and, consequentially, an edge in quality.
Scripts like “Hustle” are often deliberately written to include China and Chinese characters so they’ll be more popular at the Chinese box office. Of course, that also means those scripts are written to pass strict demands from the Chinese Communist Party that require films shown in the country to depict it positively. The CCP is known to blacklist studios that violate these standards, even outside the Chinese market.
Hollywood executive Chris Fenton, who helped the industry distribute American films in China before writing a book about his regrets, interpreted Sandler’s revelation as a positive sign. “Could this be a new positive trend, defending #freespeech & curbing #CCP censorship???” Fenton tweeted on Monday.
— Chris Fenton (@TheDragonFeeder) August 30, 2021
That brings us to Lebron James. In his interview with Patrick, Sandler noted the “Hustle” script was presented to him by James and his media company.
James is the poster child for pathetic American groveling to the regime in China, where the NBA is very popular. He exemplifies the Hollywood establishment’s stomach-churning hypocrisy, seeking personal and professional rewards for political activism against the American right while peddling CCP propaganda that fuels the regime’s repression and boosts its campaign to undercut the United States.
Netflix is far from perfect. The streamer has censored art to appease governments from Saudi Arabia to Vietnam. It has plenty of problems. But unlike the rest of the entertainment industry, fealty to China’s repressive, anti-American communist government is not one of them.