Richard Gere ‘blacklisted’ in Hollywood because Free Tibet views offend China


The Dalai Lama and Richard Gere at the National Endowment for Democracy.

Richard Gere says he’s become untouchable among Hollywood’s big studio projects, because his pro-Tibet views threaten a film’s success in the ever-lucrative Chinese market, reports suggest:

A prominent advocate for a free Tibet and friend to exiled leader the Dalai Lama, Gere’s criticism of Chinese human rights abuses in the disputed region – famously articulated during an impromptu speech at the 1993 Academy Awards – have seen him banned for life from China.

“There are definitely movies that I can’t be in because the Chinese will say, ‘Not with him’,” Gere told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I recently had an episode where someone said they could not finance a film with me because it would upset the Chinese.”

China’s ruling Communist party has sought to assert the regime’s soft power by influencing foreign journalists and media outlets, international internet governance forums, and Hollywood productions, according to a recent report from the Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy, “Beyond the Great Firewall: How China Became a Global Information Power.” The first to analyze all three of these spheres of influence in tandem, Shanthi Kalathil, Director of the NED’s International Forum for Democratic Studies, argues that they signify a long-term vision for expanding Chinese soft power.

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