TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Hollywood in a closed-door speech to resist censorship by China as exemplified by the removal of the Taiwanese flag from a jacket worn by Tom Cruise in the upcoming “Top Gun” sequel.
The Trump administration official reportedly made the remarks during an address to the Motion Picture Association of America on Thursday (September 12), and the preparatory notes were said to have been obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Pompeo described Hollywood as a “symbol of American freedom and creativity” but also asked movie executives to stop caving in to Chinese demands to change content.
The Free Beacon quoted examples of such practices, most notably the removal of the Taiwanese and Japanese flags, which were visible on Tom Cruise’s leather bomber jacket in the original “Top Gun” blockbuster, in the still-to-be-released sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.” The new movie is co-financed by China’s Tencent group.
The communist country has the second-largest box office in the world, and to prevent their movies from being locked outside that lucrative market, Hollywood executives are willing to change movie content in order to avoid offending Beijing, critics say.