Hey, Whatever Happened to Richard Gere? Oh, He Criticized China.

Remember Richard Gere? I certainly do. He was a huge star in the 1990s, playing memorable roles in such movies as “Pretty Woman,” “American Gigolo” and, last I recall, “Unfaithful.” Then, Gere largely disappeared. I noticed this, but never wondered why.

Now I know. Gere got cancelled by Hollywood because of his criticism of Chinese regime tyranny…

In this atmosphere of Hollywood courtship of the Chinese communist regime, Schwartzel reports that “Gere was too radioactive to hire.” His mere presence in the credits might mean the film would not be approved for release in China. At this point, Gere became persona non grata, at least as far as the big studios were concerned. He would have to be content appearing in independent, modest-budget feature films such as “Arbitrage” and “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

Susan Sarandon as the loyal wife of a troubled hedge-fund magnate played by Richard Gere (R) in the dramatic thriller “Arbitrage.” (Myles Aronowitz/Lionsgate)

In the 1950s, Hollywood maintained a blacklist of actors who supposedly had communist associations and therefore were deemed too controversial to play in big movies. How ironic that today, once again, Hollywood maintains a blacklist, only this time it’s for apostates like Richard Gere who are apparently not sufficiently friendly and deferential to the Chinese communist regime.

Gere has been surprisingly quiet about his blacklisting. In June 2020, however, Gere did testify before Congress (pdf) in favor of a bill to give the United States better access to the cashmere market in Mongolia. Gere argued that the bill would bolster Mongolia’s economy and make it less dependent on China, since dependency in that region quickly translates into Chinese control.

At one point, Gere brought up the movie that seems to have gotten him off the Hollywood A-list, “Red Corner.” Gere speculated about whether Hollywood would make a movie like that today.

“It simply would not happen,” he confessed.

The cancellation of a star of the magnitude of Gere shows how bad the problem is, how much in bed Hollywood is today with its grim partners in the East.

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