Yibada: Dalian Wanda Accused of Hollywood Takeover by Lobbyist
News story originally published at Yibada.com
By Ana Ablaza
A red billboard was posted along Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood to protest the growing control of Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group on the American film industry.
The red sign stated “China’s red Puppet: AMC Theaters” and was made by lobbyist Rick Berman. His protest is directed to the Dalian Wanda Group Co.
Berman said that there is “a communist takeover of our movies.”
The Wanda Group will be hosting an event on Monday in Los Angeles. The company’s founder, Wang Jianlin, is the second largest investor in Hollywood.
Robert Cain, a consultant and partner at Pacific Bridge Pictures, said, “China is the biggest external investor, probably with the exception of Wall Street, that Hollywood has ever seen.”
He added, “I’ve been a beneficiary of Chinese investment myself and have been very happy with the investors I’ve worked with, but as for those who believe the Chinese are just interested in making money, that is a very naive and even a dangerous attitude.”
Since 2012, Chinese companies have been spreading big money around the industry. Wanda bought cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and financed movies like “Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation” and “Terminator Genisys.”
However, Wanda insists that it’s just business. In a statement, the company said, “AMC Theatres is an American company run entirely by its American management team from its headquarters near Kansas City, where AMC has been located for all of its nearly 100-year history.”
The company noted, “Wanda does not participate in any of the day-to-day running of AMC, nor does Wanda make any decisions related to which films play in AMC Theatres. Wanda has been a terrific shareholder for AMC, providing capital support necessary to enable AMC to dramatically renovate our movie theaters around the country.”