Pentagon Says It Won't Work With Studios That Let China Censor Their Movies

'Top Gun: Maverick' / Skydance Media
June 30, 2023

The Pentagon will refuse to work with movie producers that bow down to Chinese censorship demands, according to new rules the department unveiled this week.

The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that any assistance film producers request from the Pentagon will not be accepted if they plan to to comply with Chinese requests for censorship.

DOD "will not provide production assistance when there is demonstrable evidence that the production has complied or is likely to comply with a demand from the Government of the People’s Republic of China … to censor the content of the project in a material manner to advance the national interest of the People’s Republic of China," the Defense Department document, obtained by Politico, said.

Studios work with the Pentagon frequently to film movies in military locations, Politico reported:

Hollywood and the Defense Department have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship for decades. The Pentagon has allowed filmmakers to shoot their projects on military bases, Navy ships, or other locations, and weighs in on filmmaking processes. The military benefits from positive portrayals of service members, and moviemakers benefit from authentic settings and technical expertise.

Chinese censorship of American films became the subject of Republican lawmakers' scrutiny in 2019, when it was reported that Paramount scrubbed the Taiwanese flag from Top Gun: Maverick character Maverick's jacket to appease Chinese censors. The studio, which worked extensively with the U.S. Navy to produce the film, ultimately reversed course and brought back the Taiwan flag.

Published under: China , Pentagon