America exports her pop culture far and wide, around the entirety of the globe, and nearly indiscriminately. We have, after all, been the world’s leaders in cool, from cowboys to walking on the moon.The only problem now is that we’re not the folks who are consuming the most of it.
As China’s freakish economic power comes into full view, the picture is not a pretty one.
The sheer size of the Chinese consumer pool is a force to be reckoned with on a global scale. Crack into the Chinese culture, and you will find yourself in windfall like no other.
But appealing to an authoritarian, Communist dictatorship requires a whole litany of Luciferian compromise and a series of increasingly disturbing, figurative Faustian pacts, all on account of China’s never-ending horror-show of human rights abuses.
Now, as the NBA suffers the wrath of an angry Beijing, a bipartisan group of lawmakers are pushing to bar the league from remaining in the Chinese market.
The open letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver came from eight US lawmakers as politically diverse as Ted Cruz of Texas and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, both from states with multiple NBA teams.
“You have more power to take a stand than most of the Chinese government’s targets and should have the courage and integrity to use it,” the letter said.
“It’s not unreasonable to expect American companies to put our fundamental democratic rights ahead of profit.”
The letter comes in the wake of a since-deleted tweet from Rockets general manager Daryl Morey supporting Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.
That prompted the Chinese government to end sponsorships for the team and league and drop planned NBA telecasts in China, huge NBA logos and banner being stripped off buildings a sign of the anger.
Last week, Comedy Central’s crude cartoon South Park took a heavy-handed swipe at China, noting that companies such as Disney have routinely altered their products to appease the tyrannical regime.
Just hours later, South Park was banned in China.