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Liu Cixin wrote a novel that Netflix is going to turn into a Game-of-Thrones-type megaproject. However, Liu Cixin is Chinese and he recently said this about China's mass incarceration of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang:

"Would you rather that they [the Muslims] 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.... If you were to loosen up the country a bit, the consequences would be terrifying."

Calls have come for Netflix to cancel the production.

Personally I am against political censorship in most any form, whether it's against the right or the left. However, I do realize there IS a hard-learned [from World War II Germany] moral line in the West that cannot be crossed. A put-'em-in-concentration-camps mentality crosses the line for me. I think Netflix should cancel the project.

What do you think?

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/25/netflix-liu-cixin-adaptation-uighur-comments-the-three-body-problem
 

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It's not censorship for a private company to cancel or not show a project. It's only censorship if the government forces them to bury a project.

This is a company bowing to PR/customer demand (or not bowing. Which is the outcome I'd expect if Netflix hopes to grow their standing in the Chinese market). It's not censorship.
 

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I'm sort of torn on this. When the creative work in question has an implicitly or explicitly despicable message I think networks, publishers etc should avoid it. But (having not read them) I don't think The Three Body project books contain anything particularly pro-CCP, pro-dictatorship or pro-genocide. And I'm not surprised that a high-profile Chinese citizen would parrot the party line whatever his personal views might actually be. So it becomes more of a question of whether you think somebody with gross viewpoints deserves to profit from their work, which is more of a boycott thing, and for me (your mileage may vary) would mean I would never read a JK Rowling book, watch a James Woods film etc.

I do think the US entertainment industry's coveting of the huge Chinese market is leading it down a very uncomfortable path. It started out with harmless but cringey stuff to appease a country that feels like it's always been ignored (I remember the first film I saw that shoehorned in a China reference - the Bruce Willis time travel movie Looper - and after that it feels like it was in virtually every big budget blockbuster: 2012, Gravity, Arrival) and has now progressed onto self-censorship like the Top Gun remake patch removal debacle, removing a Tibetan character from a Marvel film, and the really problematic stuff, as mentioned above, of actively cooperating with a state security agency to film Mulan in Xinjiang.

edit - realised Rick was only referring to the Mulan star's comments; the really problematic issue in my view is that Disney sought the help of (and thanks in the credits) the same state agency which is actively herding Uighurs into concentration camps: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-54064654
 

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He can have his own opinion. I dont see US authors being cancelled because of Guantanamo or the genocide against natives (romanticized in Westerns).
 

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TSDwrites said:
He can have his own opinion. I dont see US authors being cancelled because of Guantanamo or the genocide against natives (romanticized in Westerns).
Yeah, concentration camps are obviously awful, but the idea of cancelling or boycotting any/everything from countries that cross the line of morality starts getting into the area of 'glass houses' pretty quick.
 

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MMSN said:
Liu Cixin wrote a novel that Netflix is going to turn into a Game-of-Thrones-type megaproject. However, Liu Cixin is Chinese and he recently said this about China's mass incarceration of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang:

"Would you rather that they [the Muslims] 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.... If you were to loosen up the country a bit, the consequences would be terrifying."

Calls have come for Netflix to cancel the production.

Personally I am against political censorship in most any form, whether it's against the right or the left. However, I do realize there IS a hard-learned [from World War II Germany] moral line in the West that cannot be crossed. A put-'em-in-concentration-camps mentality crosses the line for me. I think Netflix should cancel the project.

What do you think?

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/25/netflix-liu-cixin-adaptation-uighur-comments-the-three-body-problem
It's a complex issue.

I live in China and the media is state-controlled. The things he said are the same things many Chinese people on the street would say if pushed on this issue (if they even knew anything about it at all). China has taken the western idea of "security" and "development" to talk about any issue problematic to the party. Whether it's Xinjiang, HK, Tibet, etc. They will always try to market it as a safety issue. "These people are not like us--good Han--they are violent and barbaric".

Also, China had a "patriotic education" system. The courses are desgined first and foremost to create legitimacy for the party and to create nationalists, so whil Liu Cixin's statements are wildly wrong are they really much different than the average American or Brit who shrugs his shoulders at the hell on Earth we've created in the Middle East?
 

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H.C. said:
whil Liu Cixin's statements are wildly wrong are they really much different than the average American or Brit who shrugs his shoulders at the hell on Earth we've created in the Middle East?
I would argue yes, because it's a matter of foreign policy vs domestic policy. It's the equivalent of if the US was herding Native Americans into camps en masse, demolishing their places of worship, attempting to stamp out their languages etc.
 

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ShaneCarrow said:
I would argue yes, because it's a matter of foreign policy vs domestic policy. It's the equivalent of if the US was herding Native Americans into camps en masse, demolishing their places of worship, attempting to stamp out their languages etc.
Again, I don't think we ought to be using measuring sticks for morality when determining whose country ought to have its projects cancelled or boycotted as if it's a contest, because by that criteria, no one ought to consume anything. There are no winners in this game.

For as bad as China's actions with regard to those camps appear to be, one could easily point to forced sterilizations in U.S. ICE facilities, and just as 'rightfully' conclude all American-based content be blacklisted. And, that's just one immorality from an entire litany to choose from.

And, the US was herding Indigenous Peoples into camps en masse, demolishing their places of worship, and did attempt to stamp out their languages. It just so happens to not be occurring to the same degree in the here and now, but do we hold there's a statute of limitations for these things when it comes to ferreting out whether or not art/artists from that nation ought to be consumed in response to what has occurred?

That's the thing, you'll find no end to human depravity, state-sponsored human depravity in fact, the world over going back decades and centuries. If you want to find reasons to cancel or boycott pretty much anything from anywhere, it's all right there, ripe for the picking.

The list of atrocities worldwide leaves practically every nation with blood on its hands. Then it becomes a matter of using a measuring stick to determine which country's artists are worthy of having their works adapted or not. And, we're going to do this based on how said artists view a given issue through the prism of perceptions shaped by their state's own media? No thanks.

There isn't an artist alive on this planet who isn't living in the national equivalent of a glass house. Cixin may be on the wrong side of history, but if that's your criteria for whose art and which artists remain 'valid', the list of books, films, and shows you'll be left with wouldn't fill a thimble.
 

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I imagine that Netflix will quietly drop this project in the next couple of months. It's not like there's a dearth of genre IPs to option.
 

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His world view is that genocide is okay is beyond the barrier. It is pure hate speech.

I don't think anyone would miss his works.

Mark
 

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Well, there are many in America saying the same sort of things, and worse. Where do we stop? It's like Germans talking about the death penalty here, to which I reply, Holocaust. Every country is as bad as the next, every person has their own opinion, no matter how abhorrent. They need to be stopped when they act upon it, or when they incite others to do so, but until then, they say what they please.

And, this isn't really a topic about self publishing, which is the main focus here.
 

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Of course this is a self-publishing topic. the guy is a writer!

People can go ahead and publish his works BUT EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT to shout them down and point the finger of racism and hate at him. You cannot claim censorship and then  censor the backlash.

Mark
 

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I read The Three Body Problem a while back and I enjoyed it. And I'm aware that that Mr. Cixin can't criticize his government publicly without being thrown into prison or getting an angry visit from some government official. That being said, his comments were actively supportive of Muslim concentration camps, so personally, I'm done with him.

No nation is free from injustice, that's true. But if an American author was all like "Yes, I'm a big fan of the USA's worst atrocities," I wouldn't read them either.

I don't judge Liu Cixin by the sins of his nation any more than I would judge my neighbor for the worst things my country has done. But I can listen to the words coming out of Mr. Cixin's mouth and say, "Yeah. I'm not going to shrug and hand over money and attention to someone who supports mass imprisonment of a religious minority."

I'm grateful to live in a place where I can exercise my freedom of speech, choice, and association.

 

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TSDwrites said:
He can have his own opinion. I dont see US authors being cancelled because of Guantanamo or the genocide against natives (romanticized in Westerns).
That's apples and oranges. Nobody's saying someone should be boycotted because their nation has done evil things. Nearly everyone's nation has.

They question is whether individual artists or their publishers/associated companies should be boycotted or other actions taken because they expressed evil opinions or opinions in support of clearly evil actions.
 

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This isn't government censorship, true, but what some people are concerned about these days is self censorship, which is just as friendly with fascism. It's the more subtle evil.

I support individuals standing up and speaking up for what they believe is right.

I don't support cancelling people, even people with views I find repulsive. From what I've witnessed, cancelling alienates open discussion, debate, and personal growth. Targeting someone's job, family, and colleagues in order to punish and scare them into future silence isn't winning minds and hearts.

Instead, I'm thoughtful about who and what I support with my time, words, and money.
 

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David VanDyke said:
That's apples and oranges. Nobody's saying someone should be boycotted because their nation has done evil things. Nearly everyone's nation has.

They question is whether individual artists or their publishers/associated companies should be boycotted or other actions taken because they expressed evil opinions or opinions in support of clearly evil actions.
Ok, so lets start with you.
Do you believe the US should shut down Guantanamo and release all captives as free individuals on US soil?

(I dont want to talk political but im making a point. If you go to anyone and ask them a political question you are going to get fallout any which way. Are we going to censor Kipling because of his views on colonialism?)
 
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