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Monday, December 26, 2005 

The UN: Fighting Where It Really Counts

Ever hear of "cultural protection"? Basically, other countries want to keep US movies and TV out of their countries. After all, we wouldn't want people to be able to choose what they get to watch. That would entail some element of freedom, and we can't have that. The citizens of these other countries don't seem to agree with their leaders...
At the same moment France'’s culture apparatchik voted to keep Hollywood out, his countrymen were voting very differently with their euros: They made Dreamworks' Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit the top French film two weeks running. Among France's other hits of 2005: Bewitched, Fantastic Four, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Star Wars: Episode III.
Canadians this year doffed their toques to American fare such as Doom, Flightplan, Four Brothers, and Wedding Crashers. U.K. audiences liked all the above plus The Longest Yard, The Dukes of Hazard, and The Ring Two.
It's good to know that bad taste is universal.

Many of these countries push an economies of scale argument, saying that the US produces so many movies that their native industries cannot compete with the volume or the costs of production. Quick question: what country produces the most movies per year? Not the US. It's India. Shouldn't Indian movies be everywhere if that argument is true? The truth is that US entertainment companies produce movies and shows that people like to watch. They're good at their jobs. These other countries, led by France, just can't stand the competition.

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