Industry News

Why Major Movie Studios Won’t Hire Richard Gere

Hollywood is the Woke Capital of the country. On paper.

Celebrities have never been more outspoken on any number of fronts. Stars raise their voices in every way possible: on social media, during awards shows and in press interviews.

The industry rails against income inequality, supports women’s rights and fights hard to bring diversity to the masses. In reality. pay imbalances rule the film and TV industries. Women get the professional shaft in more ways than one. And that #OscarsSoWhite campaign torched Tinsel Town’s diversity status.

And then there’s China.

Hollywood hearts China, warts and all. What warts, you say?

And yet you rarely, if ever, hear celebrities critique the Chinese government or specific policies. The industry craves the money Chinese audiences can bring to a project. The nation is the second leading movie market … and rising.

So studios will tweak its films to appease Chinese censors, cast Chinese actors in meaningless roles (see “Kong: Skull Island”) hoping to charm Chinese officials who determine which films can be played in the country.

How far will movies go in pandering to China? The Marvel Cinematic Universe recently had some of its characters use Vivo phones, a brand not sold in the U.S. but commonplace in China, in its stories.

Stephen Colbert mocked Hollywood’s infatuation with the Chinese market.

One star doesn’t censor himself when it comes to China. He’s been at it for years.

Richard Gere.

And now Gere is admitting that stance has taken a toll on his career.

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

Translation: You won’t see the 67-year-old star in mainstream movies any more.

Gere is now appearing in “Norman,” the story of a Jewish “fixer” who gets involved with an Israeli politician. He’ll soon star in “The Dinner,” a modest story about two couples arguing over their adult children’s troubles.

Pure indie filmmaking. Yet even some indie films are off limits to him now.

“There was something I was going to do with a Chinese director, and two weeks before we were going to shoot, he called saying, ‘Sorry, I can’t do it,'” confides Gere. “We had a secret phone call on a protected line. If I had worked with this director, he, his family would never have been allowed to leave the country ever again, and he would never work.”

Will anyone speak out in favor of Gere? Susan Sarandon did just that in the THR story. Will others?

Hollywood denizens routinely talk about bravery within the business. Speaking truth to power. And so forth.

Gere, even if you disagree with his positions, is brave enough to keep speaking his mind while knowing the consequences of his actions.

Photo credit: Montclair Film Fest via Foter.com / CC BY

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43 Comments

  1. Gere was quite good in the underrated Red Corner, which was very critical of the corruption and human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government. Add that to the list of movies that would never get made today.

  2. Doesn’t explain why a lot of productions seem to be going out of there way to cast white people in traditionally Chinese roles, like Iron Fist, Dr. Strange.

    1. In Iron Fist, the character was white in the comics. With Doctor Strange, the filmmakers actually said that they didn’t want to cast an Asian actor as the teacher because they didn’t want to perpetuate racial stereotypes.

      1. No, it was because the Ancient One was Tibetan, and they didn’t want to offend China with that, so he became a Scottish woman.

  3. He’s dead, Jim!

    Too bad the gutless wonders in Hollywood don’t mean a word they say about courage or social justice.

    1. Correct, this is real social justice, the kind that gets innocent Falun Gong meditators and Tibetans in China persecuted by the communists. They want to extend the persecution to the rest of the world, what better vehicle than the movie business?

    1. The Hollywood phonies know by defending Polanski or Woody Allen will not hurt their careers but speaking out against the totalitarian Chinese will get them black balled. So brave indeed. Oh don’t forget truth to power, unless your career demands you STFU

  4. Weird.

    I was never a huge Gere fan, but just the other night, out of the blue, I caught an off-beat suspense/mystery thing from 2002 called “The Mothman Prophesies”.

    He was really quite good in it, along with Laura Linney and Will Patton. A real under-the-radar sleeper.

    1. That’s so cool that you liked “Mothman”. I think it’s a terrific film — very spooky, atmospheric and sad — and that Gere and his co-stars are terrific in it. Did you notice how the movie is actually sympathetic towards, and doesn’t patronize, the flyover country characters? Very unusual for a Hollywood film, especially one in which the main character is a Washington [cough] Post reporter.

      1. Good points. Point Pleasant is a definitional “Rust-Belt” community.

        And the characters, particularly Linney’s, are what make the movie memorable.

  5. Maybe he could team up with Michael Moore and agree on something? After all immediately after the Twin Towers collapsed he took to the podium telling the rest of us we were somehow to blame, or, we needed to understand Muslim rage?

    1. They really need to go live in some Muslim country for a year or two before they are allowed to “talk”. But, if they did, they would be DEAD and they know it. CHOP off the American head! Islamists couldn’t care less if you are a star and on their side!

  6. And the article itself censors the reason why Gere is not liked in China

    Dalai Lama

    Supports Tibet Independence

    Um, where b that in the article?

    Not there, cause they want people in China to be able to read the article about why Richard Gere is shadowbanned from Hollywood movies, without ever mentioning the trigger is thr Dalai Lama and Tibet.

    Way to go – great reporter.

  7. After reading the article twice, I’m still wondering what specifically Gere said or did to put off the Chinamen.

  8. It’s not surprising that the sanctimonious progressive dic*suckers wallow in hypocrisy of staggering proportions..

  9. Hollywood will offend China right after they offend muslims. Upsetting people is easy, upsetting people who will end your career or cut off your head is another matter entirely.

    They will stay with sticking to the Christians. It is just easier.

  10. The Hollywood phonies are so quick to speak out against conservatives and Trump but they cowed to the totalitarian Chinese government because their careers can be threatened by the Chicom. Hypocrites.

  11. I voluntarily quit watching Gere after his meltdown at the academy awards about AIDS. This was some time ago. He was supposed to be a presenter, but he spent most of his time ranting about how the government had done nothing about AIDS. At the time, everything we knew about AIDS was the result of government paid research. So not only was he ranting at an inappropriate venue, everything he said was a lie.

    1. they use the oscars as a political platform and have for years (e.g., Marlon Brando; Susan Sarandon; Dustin Hoffman; Streep; Streisand; etc.,). I haven’t watched that Hollyweird crap for YEARS!

  12. This is a sad excuse for journalism. No examples of what he has said about China. No references to his involvement with Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama (which probably influenced his views on China,due to the Chinese actions in Tibet. I had to infer all from prior knowledge. If the reader did not have this background, they would be left in the dark.

  13. The last time I heard much about him was when he got booed off the stage at the 9/11 site when he started talking to the people there about forgiveness. Not much market for forgiveness talk at that gathering at that time for sure.

  14. Free Tibet. Free Richard Gere.

    Hollywood, you suck and wonder why no one watches the Oscars?
    Keep pumping out F&F, Transformers Infinity with Xmen/Aliens!?

    Hope Trump takes Instapundit’s advice and reinstitutes WWII Hollywood tax, for the people!!!

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