U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio “absolutely” thinks communists in Beijing have veto power over American mass media.
The Miami Republican, interviewed Tuesday on Fox News Radio, was unrelenting in his assertions of Chinese control over American corporate culture, answering a question from host Jimmy Failla about crackdowns on social media and control from afar.
“Yeah, absolutely it is. And it’s a narrative they continue to push out,” Rubio said. “Last week they were saying ‘Well, maybe it’s a U.S. Army experiment in their labs that created this.’ And that’s their counternarrative, the silliness they come up with.”
Rubio added that “we have to accept that’s already happening,” noting that the Chinese market leads American corporations to censor their own product from jump.
“There’s not a single studio in Hollywood that can produce a movie with a Chinese communist government bad guy,” he lamented. “You can’t do it, because it won’t be distributed in China. And they don’t want to walk away from that market.
Rubio turned his sights on professional wrestling legend John Cena, who cut a promo last week apologizing for calling Taiwan a nation, a phrase that’s a thought crime in China. Rubio called that mea culpa a “hostage video” and suggested Cena’s apology was what the studio deemed best for business.
“I’m not saying he’s an evil human being for doing it. He didn’t come up with that on his own. I guarantee you someone called him from the studio that’s producing it and said ‘you’d better get something out there right now because we’re going to get hit at the box office and it’s going to come out of your check,’ you know, the proceeds,” Rubio said.
The Cena controversy, revolving around rhetorical missteps in promoting The Fast and the Furious 9, has proved to be fertile ground for Rubio and Sen. Rick Scott, who blasted Cena in the wake of the controversy last week.
“Insane. Instead of kowtowing to the Communist Party of China — how about we stand up for our democratic ally Taiwan as they face increasing threats and aggression from General Secretary Xi?” Scott wrote Tuesday on Twitter.