In response to lawmakers warning of foreign influence, propaganda, and censorship in American filmmaking, the Government Accountability Office will look at whether the U.S. should review foreign investment in film studios and production companies, such as Dalian Wanda's acquisitions.
The Chinese company is in final talks to acquire Dick Clark Productions in addition to its previous purchase of Legendary Entertainment, for a reported $3.5 billion (b), plus its majority control of AMC Entertainment, which now owns Carmike theaters, for a combined 11,500 movies screens, according to “The Hollywood Reporter.”
Because of the extent of Dalian Wanda’s investments in the media spheres, members of Congress are asking: Should the definition of national security be broadened to address concerns about propaganda and control of the media and ‘soft power’ institutions? Regardless of Wanda controlling some purse-strings in the movie business, the massive size of Chinese audiences means American filmmakers are catering to their tastes, such as eschewing Chinese villains in storylines.
In what ways could foreign investors, producers, and distributors impact American cinema? Should Congress impose limits to protect national security?
Matt Pressman, Entertainment Business Reporter, The Wrap; he tweets @mattpressberg