The further influence of China on Hollywood

Abstract

In various cultural and behavioral respects, emerging market consumers differ significantly from their counterparts of developed markets. They may thus derive consumption utility from different aspects of product meaning and functionality. Based on this premise, we investigate whether the economic rise of emerging markets may have begun to impact the typical “one-size-fits-all” design of many international product categories. Focusing on Hollywood films, and exploiting a recent relaxation of China’s foreign film importation policy, we provide evidence suggesting that these impacts may exist and be non-negligible. In particular, we show that the Chinese society’s aesthetic preference for lighter skin can be linked to the more frequent casting of pale-skinned stars in films targeting the Chinese market. Implications for the design of international products are drawn.

That is from a new paper by Manuel Hermosilla, Fernanda Gutierrez-Navratil, and Juan Prieto-Rodriguez.

Comments

'emerging market consumers differ significantly from their counterparts of developed markets'

Well, considering that China's current, and fairly culturally similar, population is larger than that of all developed markets, which have a major degree of cultural difference (think Japan, France, and Australia, for example), maybe 'emerging markets' is not the best framing?

Particularly in light of how the Chinese media market continues to be in the hands of its government? Unless one considers 'opening' and 'emerging' to be the same process, of course. Since as Bollywood has shown, an emerging market in a nation that does not practice mass censorship (though of similar size to China) does not need to care about what Hollywood offers.

'Since as Bollywood has shown, an emerging market in a nation that does not practice mass censorship'

There are 100,000+ intetest groups that you can potentially offend in India with legal consequences. The laws are notoriously horrible in suppressing free expression though in practice since the courts are far too lazy you might escape from official punishment (if the party you offended is greatly motivated the long arm of the law will get you perhaps after 10 or 15 years). But whatever angry mobs decides to do in the interim you'll have to suffer. And you'll be blamed for any property or lives lost as a result as well. This is why 'bollywood' is entirely schmaltzy 'boy meets girl' affairs and a failure outside its home. Anything else will not only bankrupt you but probably get you beaten up.

unlike in the US where women are invariably darker skinned than their (male) romantic interest/S.O.??? Riiiiiiiight.

@Li: action heros and tanning beds are like James Bond and martinis. Also, the miracle of make up. Perhaps no one told you that what you see on screen is not real.

Clearly Trump's choices have been driven by Chinas influence on him for whiter wives, friends, tenants, etc.

As I understand it, within any ethnic group, females (on average, of course) have lighter skin than males. I read that a few years ago and was astonished when I started looking and it seemed to be true. Take any couple you know and compare the skin tones.

The paper title uses "colorism"... isnt that just racism?

Maybe, maybe not, as seen in this now 30 year old American film - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_Daze

Basically, the preference for lighter skin seems to be fairly wide spread - for example, in the 1700s in the England.

Here is an Asian oriented perspective (links to images removed) - 'South Koreans, like Japanese, and Chinese have had a white skin fetish for their women that preexisted any Western European contact.

You can see this reflected in Tang Dynasty China which was roughly the same time as the later part of the Western Roman Empire. There were envoys that were exchanged, but for most Chinese had never seen a European.

There are some East Asian women naturally as pale as in the link (my sister in law is, the younger one), but most are not. Typical make up was used and in later centuries, Geisha, in Japan, also pained their faces white, as it was considered beautiful.

Geisha go back a long time before any Dutch or Portuguese contact with Japan, which would be the initial sustained European contact in the mid-16th century:

This is true in Korea as well:' https://pmsol3.wordpress.com/2007/09/10/east-asians-skin-color-and-eye-shape/

The article also provides the standard answer also applied to the class society of England in the 1700s. 'The explanation I have heard is that the upper classes did not do physical labor and stayed in doors so they were lighter, many Asians are naturally pale but unlike many Europeans they do not burn easily, but tan darker (yellowish-brown), so being dark became a sign of being low class.

This goes back to at least the time of Confucius in China (over 2,000 years, around the 6th century BCE)…maybe longer, but that is based on the art I have seen. It is likely more ancient.

So sorry, no it is not about white people.'

Basically, colorism is about a preference for lighter skin in a society. Racism is about believing skin color denotes different races. In the historical case of England or China, colorism references the same group of people, without any need to talk about race.

America being America, of course everything is seemingly viewed through a white/black lens, making it confusing to separate two different things - thus the reference to the American movie above.

IMO nothing is more hideous than a brown skinned Filippina who uses those hard whitening creams (which are poisonous) and dyes her hair blonde in an attempt to look like Britney Spears. But you see it all the time here. It's like a medical experimental treatment involving Michael Jackson gone bad. Ugly!

Don't worry, there is plenty of racism in China as well. Quoting a Chinese female friend referring to a dark-skinned suitor: "He's wealthy and a good man, but I can never accept him because of his colour."

My understanding is that the darker people (within a group) are the field workers, constantly exposed to the sun - lower class.

I think the reason Geisha painted their faces white was to enable their clients who purchased their time to see them clearly in the low lightbof the lamps before electricity. They usually got out (in a procession with their trainees and co-workers) in the streets after dark. Their profession was also the reason for their peculiar style of dress (the geisha kimono) which exposed their necklines (a sensual part in japan) and could be easily opened from the front without assistance.

I had the same question......apparently not. http://time.com/4512430/colorism-in-america/

I just saw the Chinese financed 2016 monster movie "The Great Wall". It took $150M to produce but grossed 335M, not bad. I did not watch the whole thing but it was not bad, and superior to Marvel superhero movies IMO.

Let us be blunt: Red China controls America's economy, news and entertainment.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/richard-gere-big-hollywood-movies-china-tibet-buddhist-dalia-lama-chinese-audience-blockbusters-a7693256.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237717/Red-Dawn-remake-swapped-Chinese-flags-insignia-North-Korean-ones-fear-losing-billion-dollar-box-office.html
A remake of a movie specifically made to praise American jingoism was changed so China would not have hurt feelings!!
China ows America's gargantuan debt. We are now beggers. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he would, before spending money, ask himself if he goal was worth asking China for money!! We need to throw Chinese tea at the sea.

The Boston Tea Party was a protest by tea-smugglers against the reduction in the import duty on tea that made it impossible for them to compete profitably with the legit importer. You'll have to explain to me how that resembles current US/China relations.

Anyway, all this debt to China won't matter. The US will be true to her history and renege on it.

"The Boston Tea Party was a protest by tea-smugglers against the reduction in the import duty on tea that made it impossible for them to compete profitably with the legit importer. You’ll have to explain to me how that resembles current US/China relations."

The point is, either we take decisive action or we will live under the boot of much worse tyrants than the mad King George.

"Anyway, all this debt to China won’t matter. The US will be true to her history and renege on it."
It would be an infamy!! That debt is backed by the full faith and credit of the American people!!

dearieme is right on both counts: the tea tax revolt was by greedy colonialist tea merchants who could not compete with the tea mountain maintained by the East India company (either with or without the tea tax, Wikipedia informs us), and the USA will reneg on foreigner owned debt, if that debt gets too high, as I've said for years.

No, the USA won't reneg on foreigner owned. It is unthinkable. We are not Mexico.

"We?" I thought "we" were Brazil.

No. You may be mistaking for another person.

Quickly Googling, this was what I found:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2013/10/08/actually-the-united-states-has-defaulted-before/#150024a16021

It seems that in a couple of rare episodes where the Default-word was seriously used, we just printed dollars and told our creditors to accept them. And they did.

It is different. When the Latin American debt crisis was ongoing, here was much discusion about how some rich countries, England for example, defaulted. But America's bond are America's word. I can not imagine Washington and Lincoln's nrion defaulting.

"A remake of a movie specifically made to praise American jingoism was changed so China would not have hurt feelings!!"

So, you've never seen the movie then?

But to your broader point, the decision to swap out the Chinese for the North Koreans was silly and a disaster. I suspect the movie wouldn't have been that good regardless. It's a pretty poor remake, and inferior to the original on just about any metric.

The movie was made to appeal to the nostalgia inspired by the orginal (which was a great movie) and by the memories of American jingoism in the 80s. The point is, smart or not, it was a cowardly decision that proves that does not own itself anymore. What we watch, what we eat, what we read, what we do, where we work, how much our government can spend, what our children learn, all that is controlled by the Standing Committee of the Central Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China. It is dangerous and humiliating. We are a nation at risk.

Huh. So there'd be fewer blockbusters worth watching without the Chinese? How is that even possible? Fast and Furious as far as the eye can see...

Fast and Furious and Ubiquitous

In particular, we show that the Chinese society’s aesthetic preference for lighter skin can be linked to the more frequent casting of pale-skinned stars in films targeting the Chinese market. Implications for the design of international products are drawn.

[Aggrieved Minority] looks around the [Insert Anything] world and sees almost no one who looks like them. That’s a problem for all of us.

We've imported must of their violent practices of revenge killings and using violence to settle arguments and perceived wrongs.

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