In China’s Shifting Winds, Viacom Escapes Harm After ‘South Park’ Poke, But Others Are Not So Lucky

  • Deadline
A string of events this month related to China and ongoing protests in Hong Kong has tarnished major U.S. brands from the NBA to Apple to Activision Blizzard. While Hollywood usually finds itself in the thick of such controversies, it has managed this time to mostly avoid major reputational damage, at least for now.

Viacom in particular has been on the front lines after one of its signature shows, Comedy Central’s often-risqué South Park, provoked China by brazenly mocking the nation’s strict customs (and Disney’s simultaneously). Gemini Man, a Paramount release in the U.S., is being distributed in China by Fosun and made an estimated $10.8M on Friday to top the local box office chart. The fates of future Paramount releases such as Terminator: Dark Fate and next summer’s Top Gun: Maverick are unclear, but as of now it appears unlikely they would feel heat.
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