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Republican senators confront Netflix over Chinese sci-fi show

29 Comments
By Olivier DOULIERY

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© 2020 AFP

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Is free speech a crime?

Anyway, Netflix is hardly the entity to put pressure on, is it?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Anyway, Netflix is hardly the entity to put pressure on, is it?

Netflix (commercial entities) is the exact place to start the leverage because it's where the CCP's spearhead is. The CCP is using 'economic' coercion to cover up their human rights abuses, so if you want to 'defend' you must start where the spearhead strike.

Google Irene Khan and the UN HRC, she's singing the song of economic whilst ignoring her responsibility as the champion of human rights.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

"The Three Body Problem" is available at our library as a trilogy. After reading reviews claiming it was excellent, I decided to read it. It is well worth reading, and has nothing to do with forced labor camps.

I am very, very much looking forward to watching how the books are made into a movie. The books provide a very different take on the first contact conundrum, one that is not optimistic. Given China's dismal history of contact with the West and Japan, maybe I shouldn't be surprised that a Chinese writer would worry about the downside of meeting an alien civilization.

I wonder if these Republican Senators bothered to read "The Three Body Problem" before they attacked its author. I would be willing to give odds that they did not.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Ironically, the Netflix version of Three Body Problem is the uncensored version and is banned in China, while the Chinese produced version is heavily censored.

The original Three Body Problem came out in 2006, during Hu Jintao's era when China was liberalizing and opening up. Heck, you could even access Facebook and Google from China in those days. Hence Three Body Problem portrays the Cultural Revolution in an extremely negative light, but this portrayal is censored in the Chinese movie version.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

"The Three Body Problem" is available at our library as a trilogy. After reading reviews claiming it was excellent, I decided to read it. It is well worth reading, and has nothing to do with forced labor camps.

......

I wonder if these Republican Senators bothered to read "The Three Body Problem" before they attacked its author. I would be willing to give odds that they did not.

@1glenn

I have been wanting to read The Three Body Problem as well. Recently watched The Wandering Earth, adapted from one Liu Cixin's stories. I think the purge from the Republican Senators is complete bogus. I'm assuming it's being led by Tweedledee and Tweedledum, namely Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

That being said, the issue is not about the content being questionable (it's not about forced labor camps), but that his response to an interview in the New Yorker about forced labor in Xinjinag: "“Would you rather that they be hacking away at bodies at train stations and schools in terrorist attacks? If anything, the government is helping their economy and trying to lift them out of poverty.” He then goes on to justify how the current CCP is the only acceptable form of governance to manage today's China.

It's a bit ridiculous trying to censor a film adaption over the Author exercising his freedom of speech. Why hasn't Roman Polanski been censored yet, then? As an American living in China, everyday I wake up wondering what will escalate worsening relations next?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

As an American living in China, everyday I wake up wondering what will escalate worsening relations next?

Take a look at your dear glorious leadership and you'll find out.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Take a look at your dear glorious leadership and you'll find out.

Yup.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Why China puts up with this?

why Normal Americans don’t care that their worldwide Image is -1?

they are both Orwell like states now. Can’t they just be friends?

btw, my Chinese TV can only get Netflix and YouTube, vested interest.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Why China puts up with this?

Because the US is taking a page from China's playbook.

Look up 李志, legendary Chinese folk singer whose career has been completely erased from Chinese internet because of he pushed too far on issues like Tiananmen and Taiwan. Just a few weeks ago Chinese media censored an essay from Ambassador Branstad, yet the Chinese ambassador can publish whatever he wants to in the US. Let's not act like China is a victim here.

Can’t they just be friends?

Hopefully...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder if these senators would adopt the same attitude if the Afghan government started locking up and/or re-educating Taliban supporting individuals. I'm not saying the situation is the same, and I confess great ignorance of circumstances in Xinjiang. But rather than banning Liu Cixin's work, would it not be better to challenge his views if you think they are wrong?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

With Trump's reelection bid looming closer, Republicans recently pulled Netflix into the US election fray with a separate row over French film "Cuties," accused of sexualizing little girls.

Fixed it!

“With Trump's reelection bid looming closer, Republicans recently pulled Netflix into the US election fray with a separate row over French film "Cuties,” which sexualized little girls.”

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Republican senators confront Netflix over Chinese sci-fi show

And why you ask?

Because as everyone knows, ranting and raving over a science fiction show is more important to Repub Senators than passing emergency legislation helping poor people and small business owners cope with the COVID pandemic...

Right Mitch?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Coffee is right: “Because the US is taking a page from China's playbook.”

That means you yourself give up what you pretend to defend?  Strange interpretation of Freedom of Speech.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Its not often that I would find myself in agreement with a Republican senator, but he may have a point here. Liu's comments on this quoted in the article are beyond reprehensible and giving Netflix some heat over this might not be a bad thing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The books in question are well worth reading. It is now years since I read them, and I still think about the scenarios invented by the author, worrying if our eventual first contact could end up being our last. I don't really think so, but how can I be sure that I am not just engaging in wishful thinking?

Whatever the author of the books said about conditions in his own country, the books are brilliant. It is not surprising that any movies evolving from the books would garner a lot of interest. The idea that a movie should be banned because a few Republican Senators say it should be, is disgusting.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Whatever the author of the books said about conditions in his own country, the books are brilliant. It is not surprising that any movies evolving from the books would garner a lot of interest. The idea that a movie should be banned because a few Republican Senators say it should be, is disgusting.

Criticizing Netflix for supporting this is “disgusting”, but the guy defending genocide is OK because he wrote a neat story??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As Rainyday states, it is not the movie or book it is the comments by the author on what ammount to an attempt at cultural genocide.

The "pressure" won't be effective because it is (like everything else in the US - one sided, regardless of message). Just like Jack Johnson's song " It's important to you is not important to me"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As an American living in China, everyday I wake up wondering what will escalate worsening relations next?

If I were an American living in China I would be concluding my business there, packing up and preparing to leave as soon as possible. Something is going to happen to finally set the Chinese off and you emphatically do not want to be in China when that happens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Its not often that I would find myself in agreement with a Republican senator, but he may have a point here. Liu's comments on this quoted in the article are beyond reprehensible and giving Netflix some heat over this might not be a bad thing.

From an American point of view perhaps, but China is not America and his views are unfortunately mainstream in China. The Chinese, cough cough, "education" system is such that you do not often find views contrary to those of the CCP expressed in public. Even when one doesn't believe CCP nonsense, one keeps it to themselves. The Chinese are not taught a great deal about the world we share. My own wife, despite an engineering degree earned outside of China, has no knowledge of the Middle East, never heard of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, knows next to nothing about WWII except that Japan butchered the Chinese, doesn't have a clue why there was a Korean War, etc. They are never taught why people overthrow governments unless it was a Communist led overthrow. They have no idea why Muslims are angry at China. They are taught that, like the Tibetans, they are primitives who need to be brought into the 21st Century and made Chinese like them. My wife and I get into heated arguments over Tibet and Japan on occasion. The Chinese think our freedoms are insanity and think our point of view is likewise insane. They scoff at our values as selfishness. Just how it is. I don't know that there is a solution.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If I were an American living in China I would be concluding my business there, packing up and preparing to leave as soon as possible.

If I were American in America, I'd be doing the same.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Republican senators are desperate to do anything and everything to distract Americans from the appalling death toll from Cov-19, massive unemployment, the sputtering economy, and tRump's myriad of scandals, which are too numerous to list. If they can also appear to be doing something to confront China (without actually doing so), all the better!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sci-Fi is an amazing subject to read.

And not, sometimes without controversy - L Ron Hubbard's initial volume was interesting, but the Religious Church he founded is/was (in my "personal" view) questionable - but everyone at least in "Free" Societies can have their own opinion. There's numerous sites enumerating controversial authors - for example:

https://litreactor.com/columns/controversies-inside-the-worl-of-science-fiction-and-fantasy

My Personal favourite Authors are those with a Real Science background with a gift of telling a yarn - Ben Bova stands out amongst many for that.

Now as to this Chinese Chap. I've not read his Novels yet, however certainly now I'm enticed to do so - so his Publishers should be right now rubbing their hands in glee over the Free Publicity.

The World doesn't revolve around American authors, nor-even English ones either - check out :- https://best-sci-fi-books.com/23-best-non-english-science-fiction-books/ , most will recognise the first author in the list - Jules Verne. And this: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1718256-best-non-english-language-sci-fi-authors

The following link also seems quite extensive though doesnt shown Nationality for listing Sci-Fi authors from around the World.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_science_fiction_authors

The beauty of Sci-Fi, is that it encompasses all disciplines of Literature - from Trashy Romance Stories through to Serious thought provoking analysis of potential future scenarios if no action is taken - Climate change being currently topical. Sci-Fi shows the amazing ability of the Human mind to "Imagine".

Now to this, topic, Bashing Netflix over their version of a Chinese authors Sci-Fi series is a bit off. Why wasn't "The Man in the High Castle" TV Series subjected to the same - based on it's content ?

If you're going to ban anything Chinese, then you may as well close down all the Chinese Take-away restaurants - as these are the places Chinese Nationals go to first, when trying to find out details about the local area they're in... so they must surely be Spy bases seconded from their local Embassies! right?!

How about banning Alibaba, and any import of Chinese knock-offs which some American companies rebadge and sell for exuberant prices (Drop Shipping is a wide-spread practice).

Indeed, why not simply declare China's CCP a Terrorist state party, and ban any Company for dealing with any entity that has Financial links to the CCP ? Doing so would at least put every Chinese National into the same boat, (baring those of the CCP themselves) and would allow them to continue as normal once the CCP is gotten rid of.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lighten up senators.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Diddling while the country they set alight burns...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anybody whining about slave labor in China better check the tags of their clothes real quick. And also inspect their kids' toys. And also see what kind of batteries they are using in their various devices.

Vocal support? What the flick do I care about vocal support? What I care about are people who effect bad actions or the people who have the power to stop bad actions but nothing....such as U.S. Senators who could stop all the U.S. invasions, excursions, occupations and drone campaigns that have been getting innocent men, women and children murdered directly and indirectly for decades. These god damned Senators need a punch in the face followed by a kick in the groin followed by a severe beating. Seriously.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whenever Americans suck and coming up with ideas and suffer extreme inferiority complexes they resort to this kind of nonsense. Netflix could move its base anywhere and be easily as successful, if not moreso, and stop filming and/or working with any state that is led by these GOP morons. Let Trump and his ilk make their own Tik-Tok knock-offs and streaming services, and hell, give them a North-Korean style "Intranet".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whenever Americans suck and coming up with ideas and suffer extreme inferiority complexes they resort to this kind of nonsense. Netflix could move its base anywhere and be easily as successful,

I wish they would.

if not moreso, and stop filming and/or working with any state that is led by these GOP morons. Let Trump and his ilk make their own Tik-Tok knock-offs and streaming services, and hell, give them a North-Korean style "Intranet".

Probably won't happen. Nowadays, companies like Netflix just could care less about "Cuties" so nothing new...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Reason is the Soul of all Law”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I were American in America, I'd be doing the same

I have options. I'm not naive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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