Mnuchin’s Hollywood Ties Raise Ethical Questions in China Talks

Mnuchin’s Hollywood Ties Raise Ethical Questions in China Talks

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According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, Ms. Linton is currently spending much of her time in Los Angeles where she has been writing, directing and producing a comedy called “Me, You, Madness.” She has also been busy reshooting “Serial Daters Anonymous,” a 2014 satire that was never released in which she played a starring role. She told the magazine that financing for her films comes from “a variety of investors.”

While Mr. Mnuchin’s role in advocating for the film industry has raised some concerns, there is broad support in the United States to push for changes to China’s film regulations. The film industry supports more than 2 million American jobs, according to industry data, and Hollywood has been a powerful force for exporting American culture around the world.

“Even if concessions are made in trade negotiations there’s a long way to go, because the business environment continues to keep Hollywood from operating on an equal plane,” said Aynne Kokas, an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and the author of “Hollywood Made in China.”

Still, the China market has been lucrative for Hollywood, offering a rapidly growing box office and a ready source of financing, at a time when the American industry is facing pressure from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime and a saturated film market in the United States.

Hollywood has found the lure of the China market irresistible, even though operating in China means enduring unfair treatment, working with state-owned companies and censorship.

Hollywood has long been a victim of rampant piracy in China, from bootleg DVDs distributed in back alley stores to online streaming systems. But China has done a better job of policing these forms of piracy in recent years as its own industry has developed, said Stanley Rosen, a professor at the University of Southern California.

“As their films are being pirated, they are now beginning to enforce copyright protections of their own films,” Mr. Rosen said.



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