Double standards in Hollywood movies about China

Double standards in Hollywood movies about China

Black actress Sharon Duncan-Brewster removed from Chinese Dune movie poster. In a promotional poster for Warner Bros.’s sci-fi epic Dune, the image of Trinidadian-born black actress Sharon Duncan-Brewster was removed for the Chinese market, despite being featured extensively in the original American version. The actress also did not appear in other Chinese promotional materials for the film.

Duncan-Brewster starred in the film as Dr. Leith Keynes, a character who, ironically, was described as a white man in Frank Herbert’s original novel of the same name.

The removal of the actress is reminiscent of a 2015 Chinese advertising poster for Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was criticized for racism after it was revealed that the Chinese poster reduced the size of black British actor John Boyega from the original. Both Duncan-Brewster and Boyega openly supported the radical Black Lives Matter movement, with Boyega going so far as to spearhead a BLM protest in London last year.

It is unclear if the decision to remove Duncan-Brewster was made by Warner Bros. Pictures or Legendary East, a subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, which made films in China. Meeting the needs of the Chinese market has been a key element of Hollywood’s foreign strategy in recent years.

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