Hong Kong’s national security law threatens to censor Hollywood
Hong Kong’s national security law threatens film and television, including those produced by Hollywood, as censorship begins to look like China’s
In July 2020, Beijing imposed a national security law on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in response to the 2019 pro-democracy protests. The loosely written law is now used to censor media such as film and television, which include programs produced by Hollywood.
The Hong Kong government introduced a series of amendments to the Film Censorship Ordinance, which previously only required censors to show films containing violence, explicit sex scenes and the like in order to classify them as appropriate way. The new amendments state that censors “are vigilant in portraying, portraying or dealing with any act or activity that may constitute an offense that endangers national security”, or encourage activities that do so.
Importantly, the new amendments also demand that the censors “take into account its duties to prevent and suppress acts or activities endangering national security, and the common responsibility of the people of Hong Kong to safeguard the sovereignty, unification and the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic. of China “when reviewing a film.
These amendments, as well as the National Security Law itself, cover a wide range of activities and have been shown to be open to interpretation by both the Hong Kong government and the Communist Party-controlled Chinese government, which has the last word. It is for this reason that the National Security Law has caused concern internationally and is widely seen as a way for Beijing to curtail the democratic rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. The amendments to the Film Censorship Ordinance have been criticized for further limiting the freedom of expression Hong Kong previously possessed and for indirectly imposing China’s censorship laws in the Special Administrative Region.
These amendments, along with Chinese censorship, apply to foreign films and programs. The Oscars, for example, were banned this year in Hong Kong for the first time since 1969, due to the inclusion of the award-winning documentary Do not divide, which covered the 2019 protests. Prior to the enactment of the National Security Law, many Hollywood productions were distributed in Hong Kong while banned in China, including blockbusters such as Todd Phillips. Joker and Tim Miller dead Pool.
In terms of box office value, Hong Kong was worth $ 212,026,723 before the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and allowed the vast majority of foreign films to hit theaters. Meanwhile, China allows a quota of foreign films in the country – currently 34 films – most of which are mainstream Hollywood productions.
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Source: GovHK, Variety
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