Chris Fenton (@TheDragonFeeder) is an expert on China’s influence over Hollywood and how the Chinese government pressures American movie studios into creating soft power propaganda. He is the author of Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion-Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA, and American Business.
What We Discuss with Chris Fenton:
- How China exerts influence over the Hollywood movie industry.
- The strategies that are used to make movies and commercials relevant to the Chinese public — and ensure they’re pushing the Chinese government’s political agenda.
- How international film edits differ from Chinese film edits.
- What the Chinese government does to punish Hollywood studios that won’t play ball.
- Why leverage doesn’t have to be a one-way street, and how Hollywood can push back against Chinese politics.
- And much more…
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As we’ve explored on this show many times, the Chinese Communist Party that runs China has a very specific way of doing things, and when entering into any agreement with the CCP, it’s important to understand that concessions will likely need to be made to align with its way of doing things. Cross these expectations and you can expect the retribution to be swift and everlasting, as today’s guest, Chris Fenton, author of Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion-Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA, and American Business, has discovered.
On this episode, Chris joins us to discuss how Hollywood often kowtows to the will of the CCP in order to gain access to the box office receipts of 1.4 billion people (and his own regrettable role in greenlighting concessions as the former head of DMG Entertainment’s motion picture group), the sorts of things that get red-flagged by the CCP’s eagle-eyed censors, instances when careers and partnerships have been ruined for not complying with CCP demands, and how Hollywood can push back against the CCP’s draconian political plays. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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This Episode Is Sponsored By:
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Did you hear our conversation with Desmond Shum, the former CCP insider and former husband of disappeared Chinese billionaire “Whitney” Duan Weihong? Catch up with episode 684: Desmond Shum | Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in China here!
Thanks, Chris Fenton!
If you enjoyed this session with Chris Fenton, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA, and American Business by Chris Fenton | Amazon
- Chris Fenton | Twitter
- Chris Fenton | Instagram
- Chris Fenton | Facebook
- The Big Heart of J.C. Spink Remembered by Hollywood’s Players | The Wrap
- Duran Duran
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings | Prime Video
- ‘Iron Man 3’ China-Only Scenes Draw Mixed Response | The Hollywood Reporter
- Iron Man 3 | Prime Video
- 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony: How Zhang Yimou Pulled off a Masterpiece for Multiple Audiences | Slate
- Understanding Chinese “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” | The National Bureau of Asian Research
- Wolf Warrior | Prime Video
- Wind of Change: Did the CIA Write the Cold War’s Biggest Anthem? | The Guardian
- Looper | Prime Video
- Top Gun: Maverick Betrays Hollywood’s Weakness in China | BBC News
- Top Gun: Maverick | Prime Video
- Ray Dalio | Why Nations Succeed and Fail | Jordan Harbinger
- Scott Galloway | Course Correcting an America Adrift | Jordan Harbinger
- China Banned Spider-Man: No Way Home Due to Statue of Liberty Scene | Consequence
- Doctor Strange Movie Banned in China for “Promoting Falun Gong” | Bitter Winter
- David Kilgour | The Heartless Art of Forced Organ Harvesting | Jordan Harbinger
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness | Prime Video
- Richard Gere Has a Theory Why Mainstream Hollywood Dumped Him | Vanity Fair
- This Movie Got Martin Scorsese Temporarily Banned From China | Slash Film
- Shanghai Disney Resort
- Red Dawn 2012 Remake Tainted Sony and MGM In China For Years | Bleeding Cool
- Chloé Zhao Backlash Will Test China’s New Era of Hollywood Censorship | The Hollywood Reporter
- The Real Reason John Cena Apologized For Calling Taiwan a Country | Esquire
- Inside the Mysterious Disappearance of Peng Shuai | Elle
- Laowhy86 | China Uprising | Out of the Loop | Jordan Harbinger
- Why Did the Chinese Government Pull Django Unchained From Theaters? | Vulture
- 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests | Amnesty International UK
- Sandy Hook Shootings Draw Attention in China | WSJ
- FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr Supports a Total Ban on TikTok | Morning Edition
- Should NBCUniversal Use Its Leverage Over China’s Communist Party? | Smerconish
780: Chris Fenton | China’s Harrowing Hold Over Hollywood
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:04] Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:07] Chris Fenton: When I talk about China, I think it's really important to sort of say, hey, look, the government is there. They have 1.4 billion people, very hard to keep control of them, as we see, which is the country of 330 million, we have our own issues here. And there they have food scarcity, they have water scarcity, they have commodity scarcity and energy scarcity. So they're doing everything they can to control tinderboxes from lighting on fire and becoming another Tiananmen Square like we had in 1989.
[00:00:41] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with scientists and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional national security advisor, investigative journalist, former cult member, or rocket scientist. And each episode turns our guest's wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better thinker.
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[00:01:31] Now today, I'm in Costa Rica. I'm trying to take a vacation but, of course, I'm not going to let you down. We got a show for you here today on this episode. My friend Chris Fenton on how China exerts influence over Hollywood and tries to pressure American movie studios into creating essentially soft power propaganda for the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government. Now, China has been a major, major player in the movie industry for the past few years. Their market is enormous. Today, we're going to talk a little bit of inside baseball on movies in China, soft power, cultural diplomacy, as well as Marvel. Yes, the comic books, and of course, a little Iron Man in there. China used to view Hollywood as this cool cultural diplomacy, something they kind of wanted to redevelop and create for themselves. But now, they're essentially viewing Hollywood, almost like Western propaganda. It went from peak cool to peak suspicion. Lot of stories from China and from the movie industry here on the show today. Now here we go with Chris Fenton.
[00:02:33] What's this about you in the front row of Duran Duran concert wearing only pajamas in like the free slippers you get at a hotel?
[00:02:40] Chris Fenton: Well, you're referring to a part of the book where, as you know, any good story has got to have sort of a Yoda figure. And your mentor, the one that rises you above when you're at that low point in the story. Mine was a producer, larger than life personality, a guy named J.C. Spink who unfortunately passed away, roughly five years ago now, which is unbelievable. But he was somebody who really gave me a lot of motivation and direction throughout the journey that I tell about in the book. And one of the things that he did when I was sort of mired in the craziness of China. One day — and I just couldn't get my head out of it — he actually kidnapped me from my wife and young kids, threw me in a Jeep and took me to a Duran Duran concert, by the way, after I already had pajamas on and was watching, I think Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with my wife. And there we were in the front row of the Staples Center at Duran Duran concert. Everybody looking at us like, what the heck? And I just remember Simon Le Bon looking down at the two of us. And J.C. always wore wacky stuff, but I had pajamas on and he was just like double taking the whole concert. It was hilarious.
[00:03:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Like you showed up and got front-row seats to this. and you just rolled in wearing non-shoes and flannel bottoms and like an old ass sweatshirt with, I don't know what your pajamas are like, but you know, like a hole in the armpit sweater type thing that you're just too afraid to throw away slash has been worn thousands of times and is super comfortable as a result. "Like this is what you wore to the front row of my show," because that guy's been doing music for, what, 40, 50 years now, I'm guessing.
[00:04:17] Chris Fenton: Oh my god. And he was epic too. I mean, he's got a little more of a belly than I remember as a kid growing up in the '80s watching those great Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf videos. But boy, his voice was great. It was really good concert. And I did have some shoes. I had these slippers that I had from a hotel that I stayed in at one point, probably from a Chinese hotel. So I did have something on.
[00:04:40] Jordan Harbinger: Somehow. That's the most Hollywood thing ever getting kidnapped in your PJs and ending up in the front row of a Duran Duran concert, but that's neither here nor there when it comes to getting movies and commercials into China. It does symbolize the ups and downs a little bit of what you had to deal with, the fact that your friend had to kidnap you so that you would essentially talk you off the ledge.
[00:04:56] What I find interesting about China and movies and commercials and the approvals and things like that is I had no idea how movies and commercials all have to get approved in China, and they can be unplugged or switched at the drop of a hat did. Was it Django Unchained that they were playing it and then it got pulled like in the middle of the first showing? Tell me about that. This is so bizarre.
[00:05:18] Chris Fenton: Yeah. Well, it's interesting. Hollywood is a bit of an example of all industries over there. So when you look at the China market, right? You want to get your products and services in there to sell to 1.4 billion people. It's just a massive market. And to do that, you really have to sell to two entities. The first one is the government. The government has to sign off on whatever your product of service is. And it's not as easy as just like, "Hey, we got the best toilet paper in the world. You should let it in." Or, "Hey, we got the best movie in the world. You should let it in." The Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party typically looks at whatever that product and service is and says, "Well, what's in it for us to give you access?" And for Hollywood, we realized what was in it for them was to actually help them build their own best-in-class, world-class domestic film industry.
[00:06:09] So in order to get our films in there, not only did we have to censor certain things and proactively censor things and create brand integrated sort of storylines and put in Chinese actors and Chinese locations, but on top of it, we had to teach them the process of actually making movies themselves. In order to sell the fish in that market, we had to teach them how to fish. And then once you get past that mark where the government says, "Okay, we see what we're benefiting from by letting this product and service in," i.e. films, then you got to figure out, well, how you going to cater to the Chinese public. And what was great about Hollywood in the early days is that they simply didn't have a domestic competitor that could compete at the scale and the intensity and the awe of Hollywood films. So you could literally just get a movie in that was plain vanilla plays around the world, and everybody in China would go see it. Then it got a little more specific. We really had to create a relevancy to their culture, a relevancy to their people, touchpoints that they could identify with. And that's when you started to see these movies like Looper or Iron Man 3 or some of the Transformers movies or even Shang-Chi come along where they're really brand integrating China to grab the attention of the Chinese public.
[00:07:26] Jordan Harbinger: You say you have to make cultural relevancy. Okay, fine. I get it with Shang-Chi. It's funny to say it like that because if you know Chinese, it's like [foreign language], which is like going to eat, which that's the guy's name. The whole thing doesn't make sense, but I get it. Chinese leading actor circles around that kind of thing. So of course, it's more relevant. But how do you do that with Iron Man, which doesn't exist? Exist at a parallel, not necessarily in the United States or something like that. Just isn't a real thing. And I get it, look, Shang-Chi, also not real, very fantasy, but it's a freaking robot suit for God's sake. You know, what are you going to do? Do you replace Robert Downey Jr.? That's not really going to work either. How do you make something like that relevant for China? And also why exactly are they wanting this? As an American, I'm like, "Oh, this takes place in Paris." I'm not thinking, "I'm boycotting that movie. It doesn't take place in New York." That doesn't make sense to me.
[00:08:16] Chris Fenton: Two things, one is Shang-Chi for all the brand integration and all the extra effort they put to get that movie into China. The ironic thing is it never got into China.
[00:08:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I heard.
[00:08:27] Chris Fenton: So they created a movie specifically to make money in China, and it didn't get in there. The same was to be said for various other movies, including the remake of that LeBron James-Michael Jordan film, which is escaping me, the name of that. But back to the Iron Man question, what did we do to create that relevancy? Well, number one is China in 2008 put a lot of effort into what industries they wanted to make best in. And I say 2008 because leading into the summer of 2008, the only thing that China cared about was this grand coming out party. That they wanted the world to see them and view them as this economic mega entity that was now coming online, right? And they were going to change the world and lead the world and all that kind of stuff. And that was through what the Beijing Summer Olympics was symbolizing, right? And everything leading up to that was about the Beijing Olympics. That coming-of-age party had to go perfectly.
[00:09:27] So once that was done, then the Standing Committee, which at the time was Hu Jintao, was leading it. That was the predecessor to Xi Jinping. They sat around and said, "Okay, what industries do we want to develop to world class? Technology, medicine, film." So if you know what they want to push as far as their world-class enterprises, the things that they want to be leaders of the world in, and you know, that film is one of them, then why not tie them all together? So that's what we did in Iron Man 3, which was we wanted to have an actor play a role of somebody that was a marvel in the discipline of both medicine and technology.
[00:10:07] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, interesting.
[00:10:08] Chris Fenton: Yeah. So the idea that came up was to play off of — in the first Iron Man, there was this character named Yinsen, who was working to help people that were hit by missiles from Tony Stark Enterprises in that war survive. And we had a Chinese medical doctor/scientist that was working on a device that would allow Tony Stark to take what they call the RT. That thing that gives him that power, but also—
[00:10:34] Jordan Harbinger: The glowing thing, right?
[00:10:35] Chris Fenton: Exactly.
[00:10:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:10:36] Chris Fenton: That keeps the shrapnel that was in him because he was hit by a missile from collapsing on his heart and killing him. So this doctor wanted to create something that allows him to live without the RT in his system.
[00:10:48] Jordan Harbinger: I apologize to everybody who has no idea how Iron Man works and is like, "Wait, there's a thing, and glowing—" like if you've seen Iron Man, there's the glowing thing on his chest. But Tony Stark, the guy in the suit for people who haven't seen it, he also has that when he's not in the suit because supposedly there's some metal in his body and he made this big magnet that keeps it from like smashing his heart. I'm trying to make this for an audience of people that are like, "What the hell is Iron Man? I haven't even heard of this." You know?
[00:11:12] Chris Fenton: I thought we were going to be inside baseball in China, but we ended up going into the Marvel space.
[00:11:16] Jordan Harbinger: I know. I'm like, I don't know. I don't read enough comics to know how this works.
[00:11:19] Chris Fenton: Well, if anybody's seen a Marvel movie, right? There's this emotional core to the films that makes them outstanding movies and why they make so much, right? They're not just about explosions and all that stuff, even though they do a lot of that. There's also a really strong character journey in there. And his character journey was essentially to identify back as Tony Stark and be able to live as somebody who doesn't have to be Iron Man. That was the thematic through it. And the reason for that is he needed to get the RT out of his system because it was slowly decaying and allowing these shrapnels to circle his heart.
[00:11:54] So we created this doctor that was going to do it. And then, of course, when we created it, we had all kinds of headbutting with Marvel and Kevin Feige, who runs Marvel, who's a fantastic storyteller, he has to stay true to the brand. He has to stay true to the storylines, he has to stay true to the fans. Like he has to be a protector of that IP. And here we are saying, "Well, the Communist Party wants to have this in here and this in here and this in here." And we actually, in the book, I talk about this crazy idea where I was trying to pitch, you know, it would be Xi Jinping's kid that would end up saving the day for Iron Man.
[00:12:29] Jordan Harbinger: Oh wow.
[00:12:29] Chris Fenton: And I got literally laughed out of the Marvel meeting because they were like, "This is crazy. We're like, you know, conduits for the Chinese Communist Party." I said, "Well, if you want to make money in that market, we got to do something, right?" So this is what sort of came together. This doctor, he shows up in the beginning of the movie and then he shows up in the end of the movie and then he got cut a lot from the scenes of the international film.
[00:12:52] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:12:52] Chris Fenton: Which was a real problem for the Chinese Communist Party because—
[00:12:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:56] Chris Fenton: —they didn't want just relevancy for their own people. They wanted to spread the narrative of best in class, best in the world at technology and at medical discipline for every audience member that saw that movie around the world. So they wanted every part of the film scene.
[00:13:13] Jordan Harbinger: This is interesting because you're kind of between a rock and a hard place because — and look, I'm sure you did it tastefully. It's a Marvel movie after all, for a huge market in China, but it's a little weird. I mean, no disrespect. It's a little weird to be like, "Hey, why don't we have — what essentially is the dictator of an authoritarian regime — why don't we have his kid as in this movie?" I mean, it's like really there's some real ass kissing going on here. I'm not saying you are doing it, but I mean, I understand that you have to, but also—
[00:13:42] Chris Fenton: I was doing it. I 100 percent was doing it.
[00:13:44] Jordan Harbinger: Let me rephrase this in a way that I would say if we weren't friends already. It seems really ass-kissy to have the dictator's kid be the hero in the movie, but also I get where you're at, you're in a rock and a hard place because you got to do this weird thing where you're like, to use, I guess a very appropriate word, kowtowing to China. But then, internationally when you do the edit for the United States, you're like, "This is freaking stupid. We're not having the dictator's kid, or like this random, minor character play a huge outsized role that makes no sense." And other examples you give in the book was where, I'm going to get this wrong, but there's people drinking this very popular brand of Chinese milk that's completely freaking irrelevant, but there's like a 68-second clip of main characters just drinking milk. It makes absolutely no sense. It's the clunkiest thing ever. And if you did that with Pepsi or Coke, In a movie in the United States, people would roll their eyes so hard they'd end up back in the lobby of the movie theater and say, "This is the stupidest, most glaringly obvious thing that I've ever seen."
[00:14:47] There was a movie when I was a kid. It was some alien movie, and the only thing the alien wanted to drink was Coca-Cola. And it was like tthey were experimenting with product placement. I can't remember the name of the movie, but it was so dumb that even as I think like a six-year-old, I looked at my mom and I was like, "Why do they keep showing Coca-Cola?" And my mom's like, "They're just trying to get you to — they want you to buy." It was so clunky. This sounds like that. Aren't we 40 years past the level of clunky that where we have to have Vladimir Putin's favorite son be the hero of the movie? It just seems so ridiculous to me.
[00:15:18] Chris Fenton: Well, there's a lot to unpack there. And by the way, that Yili milk, it was Yili milk.
[00:15:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:22] Chris Fenton: And that scene actually, the person drinking it was Fan Bingbing, who's the largest actor in probably the world because if you look at how big she was in China at the time, but—
[00:15:33] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:15:33] Chris Fenton: That's who did it and yeah, 100 percent, it was just full out patronizing. But anyway, if you go back to this kowtowing and the thing that I am, and by the way, I'm 100 percent honest and an open book about all this stuff. We were kowtowing the crap out of the US to China to get all our products and services in there.
[00:15:54] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:15:54] Chris Fenton: And I will tell you that 99 percent of us were not these evil, capitalistic greed monsters that were looking to make a buck and sell the soul of America out in order to do that. Yeah, probably one percent or something like that were, but for the majority of us, we actually really believed in a higher calling beyond just how we were doing career-wise. Like it was a lucrative career and obviously, you're driven to have a capitalistic instinct as somebody from the United States. But what really was a higher calling, and something that I loved about the whole idea of what we are doing is we were getting products and services into a market that wasn't taking them before. That was growing GDP growth here in the United States of America. It was creating jobs. It was bringing money out of China back to the US and then on top of it, we all believed we were spreading the aspirational quality of democracy inside a communist country that would eventually win them over and become something like us. Right? That's what we all believed.
[00:16:58] Jordan Harbinger: I 100 percent get it. I'm not, I'm not trying to say, "Hey man, you really sold out and ruined a good Marvel movie somehow." That's not what I'm saying. I'm more incredulous at how insanely on the nose you kind of had to be to get what is essentially a piece of cultural diplomacy, a Hollywood cool, into a market like China. It seems, and I'm naive here, they should have just watched the dang movie and been like, "Wow, that was cool." And then it's like, "Hey, maybe in the Chinese release we make it a little bit more relevant. Hey, instead of cutaways from this, maybe you could change the city that he's flying around in in some of these scenes and we make it Beijing or Shanghai instead of just clips from Paris in London and New York. Why not?" Okay. But the milk product placement and we have to invent a whole new character. I wonder if Americans would care that much or if this is a sensitivity thing that we just kind of can't relate to that I'm missing.
[00:17:50] Chris Fenton: It's a complicated question, but the Chinese are very good. They study, they're very disciplined at studying others.
[00:17:56] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:56] Chris Fenton: They're looking at case studies. So over time — I mean, first of all, over 5,000 years, they've been fantastic storytellers and controlling the narrative of their populace.
[00:18:04] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:18:05] Chris Fenton: And that their populous digest has always been very important to them and they're very good at it. But they've also seen the ability for the United States of America in the West to win over countries towards democracy versus communism, dating back to jazz singers that we used to send over to African countries to try to win them away from Russia's or the Soviet Union's influence and towards the West. You know, they saw movies like Top Gun. They saw movies like Rambo, which by the way has been remade into Wolf Warrior on the China side.
[00:18:38] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:18:38] Chris Fenton: They've seen the CIA using the Scorpions and to create a song called Wind of Change to actually help create the groundswell that led to the Berlin Wall falling down and various other things, which was one of the great stories.
[00:18:52] Jordan Harbinger: The CIA had something to do with the Scorpions' song. That's
[00:18:55] Chris Fenton: ridiculous.
[00:18:55] Jordan Harbinger: I had no idea.
[00:18:56] Chris Fenton: Yes. Do some research on Scorpions' Wind of Change and the fall of the Soviet Union and you'll find it very, very interesting. Now, by the way, no one is 100 percent confirmed it, but if you look at the way CIA has used soft power influence, including jazz musicians back in the '50s and '60s, a lot of it sort of adds up. But it's a fantastic sort of storyline that they've watched over time and they know how powerful Hollywood is at influencing, behavior influencing, cultural awareness influencing, what people want to do culturally, pop culture, the things that they buy, materialistically, et cetera. So they want to hone that and own it themselves, right? So these things that they were having us do, not only were they pitching through — now remember you got the Standing Committee, you got the Politburo, you got the Communist Party you have underneath them at the time.
[00:19:49] Jordan Harbinger: Is there like Chinese Communist Party organs of politics, like the Senate and the House, kind of like we have?
[00:19:57] Chris Fenton: You have lots of different layers of bureaucracy there, right? And the Communist Party oversees it all out of 1.4 billion people, the Communist Party is about 92 million of that.
[00:20:07] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:20:07] Chris Fenton: It's a big organization and every company has a bunch of them in them and they're all there to watch and control and to influence, right? So if you look under the Standing Committee, the next most important division is the Ministry of Propaganda. And the Ministry of Propaganda oversaw at the time when we were doing this, the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television. So anything, radio, film, and television, and that included print and digital, anything that was happening out there, the Ministry of Propaganda dictates.
[00:20:37] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:20:37] Chris Fenton: Right. And they had two things that they were looking at. One was, what is the narrative? We're giving our 1.4 billion people, right? Because you got 1.4 billion people, they only get one sound organ that they're getting their news from. It's as if MSNBC and Fox and Newsmax and Tucker and Rachel Maddow and everybody else in between are all saying the same thing. Imagine the power of that, right?
[00:21:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's crazy.
[00:21:02] Chris Fenton: What are we going to have them saying today, right? That's essentially the way they're thinking about it. And when it comes to like the movie Looper, which we made over there, where it takes place 40 years in the future and we pitch to the Chinese government, we're going to make — because the original script had France being where the main part of the movie took place 40 years in the future because that's where our young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who later becomes Bruce Willis, 40 years later, that's where he wanted to retire. He wanted to retire to France because that's the most beautiful part of the world. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We changed it to China because that's where everybody wants to be in the future. That was the way we pitched it to Chinese government. The Ministry of Propaganda, which was working with us to do this movie. They wanted to see how we were portraying China in the future. So we actually worked with the Shanghai Municipal Government and the Propaganda Ministry to design the skyline of what Shanghai would look like 40 years in the future. And we were looking from the side of the river, which is the bond where a lot of people maybe see those art deco buildings and stuff. We're looking across where all those big high rises are. And we were designing buildings of the future there. And in fact, in the Shanghai Municipal Government, our models are still there in the lobby.
[00:22:11] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:22:11] Chris Fenton: Right. Like they were so proud of the way we did it. And what was even weirder is they actually had plans of what these buildings were going to look like back then for 40 years in the future, because that's just the way they think. So we did that. But what was even crazier is that in the middle of the movie, and this is just one example of the brand integration, kowtowing propaganda we were doing for the Chinese government. We actually had Jeff Daniels come back to the present day. He's talking to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and he says, "Joseph Gordon-Levitt, what do you want to do when you retire?" And Joseph Gordon-Levitt says, "I want to move to France. I'm learning French." And Jeff Daniels, who's from the future, who comes back to talk to him, says, "Why would you want to move to France?" And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is like, "Oh, because it's beautiful and the women are great," whatever. And Jeff Daniels then says to him, "I'm from the future. You want to move to China." And when we tested that in the US to audiences, that movie that got the biggest laugh in the film, it was like one of the great sort of comedic timing moments in a very serious dark movie that really lit up the NRG screenings, right? Like that's the testing that you do if you want to see if the movie is any good.
[00:23:24] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:23:25] Chris Fenton: So it worked here in the US, right? But in China, they talked about it all the time. The Ministry of Propaganda was talking to their 1.4 billion people through their different platforms saying, "Here's a movie coming out from Hollywood that talks about China is the future. That is where the world is moving. That is where the lead character wants to live. They shot a lot of the movie here. They designed the city of the future. This is our country. Be proud," right? But then on top of it, they wanted to make sure all that was in the cut of the movie outside of China and we had a lot of issues about, well we wanted an extended cut for their market, but they wanted that same extended cut with all those China scenes shown around the world because they wanted the rest of the world—
[00:24:09] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:10] Chris Fenton: —to hear the same narrative they were telling their own people.
[00:24:13] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. It, you know, this reminds me a little bit, I guess this is almost the inverse of that, with the latest Top Gun movie. Wasn't there some debacle about the patches on Tom Cruise's jacket? Because there was a Taiwan flag and China was like, "Hell no. You can't even come in here with that. You got to change it." What happened with that?
[00:24:32] Chris Fenton: Well, there's a couple of things. One is Paramount wanted what was really a propaganda movie for the West.
[00:24:38] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:38] Chris Fenton: But big explosive with a big movie star to play in China because that's extra money. That's found money, right? Even though we only get a 25 percent share of what it makes over there. Whereas the rest of the world pays us 50 cents on the dollar. Like, that's a whole other story, but they wanted to get in there. So when they saw the first cut of the film, they were like, "Oh, the Taiwanese flag is on there. Is that smart for us?" And Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise is like, "That's what was in there in the original movie. Like we got to keep it, all that kind of stuff." But then one of their financiers was Tencent.
[00:25:11] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:25:12] Chris Fenton: And Tencent said, "Hey, this is a problem for us. We might have to back out as far as financing is concerned.
[00:25:18] Jordan Harbinger: Tencent is what? Like the kind of like the Facebook, Twitter of China?
[00:25:24] Chris Fenton: Yeah. So you have the BATs over there, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and Sina, which are essentially the equivalent of here, Google and Apple and Facebook, et cetera. So Tencent has a lot of money. They have a lot of clout. They're a huge platform in that market. They essentially said to the studio, "We got to take that off." Now, the studio thinking, like you barely even notice it. It's in the opening of the movie, which by the way is a great movie. Who's going to notice that? So they cut it out and they put a different flag on there. Well, the problem is, is that a lot of people pay attention to this stuff and a handful of people sort of throw it up on Twitter and next thing you know, everybody's like, "Wait, what happened to the Taiwanese flag?" And that's a really weird story that's very controversial to have sort of spiral out of control when at its core. It's a movie about the US military and our US allies, right?
[00:26:18] So Paramount somewhere along the way, along with Tom Cruise probably said, and I don't know the exact inside story there, but they probably said to the Tencent and to the Chinese government, "Hey, screw you. We're going to keep it in there. We can't make a movie. That's about the patriotism and the support of the US military and the excitement around being American and part of the West. We can't have it be blamed for kowtowing to China too. That just makes no sense." So ultimately, the movie came out and never got released in China. And in fact, I would argue that there's a good chance that Tom Cruise might not ever get a movie into China again.
[00:26:55] Jordan Harbinger: Oh wow.
[00:26:55] Chris Fenton: Paramount might have the same difficulties, but the movie went made 1.4 billion without it ever getting into China. So it's actually a really good story when it comes to saying, "Hey, enough of the kowtowing. We know we can make our money elsewhere. We don't need you, China."
[00:27:13] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Chris Fenton. We'll be right back.
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[00:30:32] Now back to Chris Fenton.
[00:30:35] What I worry about — and look, we're talking about American soft power in the form of Top Gun. I don't feel like we have to have that always go 100 percent unadulterated across the world. I mean, we're making our own propaganda if Hollywood is, and it's just not necessarily directed by some stooge in the government. But I also don't want to continue censoring every single thing for an authoritarian regime. I mean, there's got to be a not-so-farfetched, and I don't want to go down fully slippery slope, but there's got to be some scenarios where that you've envisioned or even maybe seen come to reality where you go, this is just too far, not just burning the movie, but you're almost revising history in order to please a market. And then it just gets, maybe it gets a little icky. Is there any example of that that comes to mind?
[00:31:21] Chris Fenton: Yeah, there are great examples. So there's a lot of hope out there. I mean, first of all, we talked about how 99 percent of us have this higher calling aspiration in terms of what we are doing between the US and China. I would say 99 percent of us have all been punched in the nose at some point during the last 40 years and now realize that it is not in the best interest of the long-term health of the United States and our values and our principles, nor is it for our allies too. You know, you still see people I highly respect, like Ray Dalio, who's been on your show.
[00:31:54] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:31:54] Chris Fenton: He still talks the China book, you know, but he knows he's been punched in the nose. He's a fiduciary for a lot of investors, so he still knows that he can't just throw them all under the bus and you know, say what he wants to say about China but he knows. But a lot of others have come out and talked about it. I mean, whether it's Matt Pottinger who was a journalist back in 2000 to Bill Bishop, one of the great Chinese experts out there. You see Kyle Bass talking about it. You see Scott Galloway talking about the issues and you just had them on recently. It was a fantastic interview about the issues with TikTok and the fact we should shut that down, right? So you're starting to see people come out and say, "This is wrong. We got to stop." But there's still so much money going back and forth now about the hope and about those examples.
[00:32:44] Well, after Top Gun, we also saw Spider-Man, right? The latest Spider-Man movie. If you've seen it, the whole third act takes place. It's a great battle royale that happens on the Statue of Liberty, which is under construction, right? The Chinese government said, "We love Marvel, and we like Spider-Man, we're going to let it in, but you got to cut any images of the Statue of Liberty out of the movie."
[00:33:08] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:33:09] Chris Fenton: And the studio is like, "What? You're kidding me, right?" Now, whether the studio did the right thing to do the right thing, or they looked and they said, "Whoa, that's cost prohibitive. We're never going to make our money back." I don't know. But I will say they took a stand and said, "Nope, we're not going to do it." And the movie didn't get in and I thought that was a fantastic thing to hear about and witness. And on top of it, the movie made a lot of money around the world. We also saw with Shang-Chi, which was really interest, or not Shang-Chi, actually, it was the latest Doctor Strange movie where somebody put an Epoch Times newsstand in the center of one of the big set pieces that was shown on camera several different times, one of those yellow newsstands.
[00:33:52] Jordan Harbinger: Can you explain briefly, like in one sentence what that is? Because people don't necessarily, maybe they've seen the ads, but that's it.
[00:33:57] Chris Fenton: Yeah. So the Epoch Times is founded by the Falun Gong, which is a very, you know, essentially an ethnic minority that has been completely trampled on by the Chinese government over the years.
[00:34:08] Jordan Harbinger: It's more of a religion, right? It's not like an ethnicity.
[00:34:10] Chris Fenton: Yeah, religion.
[00:34:11] Jordan Harbinger: It would be like Scientology being rounded up and thrown in prison in the United States. Like maybe they're a little weird, but they're not criminals. Necessarily.
[00:34:19] Chris Fenton: Right. Although any sort of religion or religious belief is not seen well under the Chinese government, so—
[00:34:26] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:34:26] Chris Fenton: Yeah. Theirs is just a little more extreme than others. So they've been sort of outcasted from China or, you know, a lot of them are detained somewhere inside of China and they have their own news publication. You might have gotten free issues of it on your front door or whatever it is. And actually, you know, some of their articles are actually very good and some of them are hard to the right or extreme or whatever it is. But anyway, the bottom line is out of all the people that are on those sets, that are involved with these big action set pieces, say there's 300 people, there's definitely, I would say five to 10 percent of them that know exactly what that newsstand is.
[00:35:04] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:05] Chris Fenton: And they kept it in there. And then when you go into post-production, you have all the editors and all the VFX people and all that kind of stuff. So say another 300 people are looking at it and they see it in the background, one of them's going to say, "Hey, we got to take that out. You know, we need to get this into China." But no, everybody kept it in. So whoever was involved was saying, "Hey, let's throw the middle finger to the Chinese government with that movie," because prior to that, they didn't get Shang-Chi in. They didn't get the Eternals in. They haven't gotten a movie in Marvel since the last Avengers movie in—
[00:35:38] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[00:35:39] Chris Fenton: —2018. And that movie made 750 million just in that market.
[00:35:44] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:35:45] Chris Fenton: Right. That's how big the market became for Marvel. So, you know, flicking the middle finger at China, by the time Doctor Strange came out, was a really big move. And I thought it was really interesting to see. And it put a lot of hope out there that said, "Hey, enough is enough. Like we want to have this commerce and cultural exchange with China, but it's got to be more pro-West moving forward. We got to rebalance it."
[00:36:08] Jordan Harbinger: It seems like China. And again, I always try to say a Chinese Communist Party because people in China have nothing to do with this. They can't control this. They can't vote for different people. So I'm always really careful about this because the biggest victims of the Chinese Communist Party is always Chinese people, always has been. But it seems like when the CCP gets pissed off, when they're painted poorly in movies, or I shouldn't even say painted poorly, when they're not given every little thing that they want, like a newsstand or a flag patch removed with CG. Do they punish movie studios even beyond that specific release? You know, do they say, "Fine, this movie can't come in, but this other one can"? Or, are they like, "Actually now we're going to give you unending amounts of sh*t for the next three years and make sure that your movies, they all have to release on the same day and you can only release in certain markets"? I mean, are they pulling that kind of shenanigans? Because it seems like they could do that just to make it extra annoying and limit revenue.
[00:37:01] Chris Fenton: Yeah, 100 percent. I mean, if you look at Richard Gere, for instance, I mean, he did a movie called Red Corner back in 1997. It had a lot of things that were considered very sensitive to the Chinese government. And the Chinese government has never allowed a Richard Gere movie in since.
[00:37:17] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. So they punished the actor.
[00:37:18] Chris Fenton: Yeah, they punished the actor.
[00:37:19] Jordan Harbinger: Dang.
[00:37:20] Chris Fenton: Disney had the same problem when they did the Martin Scorsese movie Kundun way back when.
[00:37:24] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:37:25] Chris Fenton: Which was obviously about Tibet in the story there. They banned anything from Disney, including a theme park from that market until eventually Michael Eisner, who was the CEO of the company, flew out there and said, "Hey, we'll never let that happen again. And we love China, et cetera, et cetera."
[00:37:41] Jordan Harbinger: I get it if something is distinctly anti-China or anti-communist, that's right on the nose, but to say, "Hey, you're not going to remove this newsstand from the scene, that nobody's going to really notice." I'm bringing up this example because the level of control that they want to exert seems really, it gets to the minutiae. It's not just, "Hey, can we change some skylines?" This is the whole thing now has to almost revolve around "us being great, and by the way, better than you. So don't use any of your national symbols or any other global symbols." You're almost just making Chinese propaganda with an American flavor profile.
[00:38:14] Chris Fenton: Well, what's even worse too, is that in the case of, say, Richard Gere or other actors or filmmakers that have done things that are considered really sensitive to China. I mean, there was a remake of Red Dawn back in, I think it was in 2010, something like that where—
[00:38:31] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:38:32] Chris Fenton: —China was the enemy. A lot of those filmmakers, people involved with that movie have never had another project get into China because of it. Richard Gere in particular as China started to grow in influence as far as market size. Now keep in mind it almost became as big a market as the US pre-COVID. Now, it's obviously been sort of changed and dynamic has moved, but it was so important to the Hollywood studios that Richard Gere couldn't even get a job, right? Because studios just assumed if he was in the movie, that would automatically kill the chances of the film getting into China. And China only lets in, you know, somewhere between say, well, they're supposed to let in 35 now, but it's way lower than that, but they're supposed to let in a certain amount of films every year that have been negotiated since 2012, and the studios all want one of their movies to get in.
[00:39:23] Jordan Harbinger: This is crazy. So Richard Gere, one of the most famous men in the world, or at least in Hollywood, can't get a job because that might make somebody in China not want that particular movie, which may not even be slated to go out in China. It might upset them or it might upset the Chinese Communist Party, which won't let another movie from that same studio that hired Richard Gere. I mean, talk about just being radioactive overnight. Unbelievable.
[00:39:48] Chris Fenton: They have a massive ability to remember things, including things that were said say, eight years ago, right? Like Chloé Zhao was the director of the Eternals. You know, there were issues around the Mulan controversy with Disney that involved thanking Xinjiang province officials at the end of that movie. It became a big geopolitical firestorm. The Chinese government got really upset about it, started to take it out on the Marvel movies. They gave the reason of not allowing the Marvel movie Eternals in based on the fact that Chloé Zhao in 2013 said something that was sort of anti-Beijing in like small sort of platform for independent filmmakers.
[00:40:30] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:40:30] Chris Fenton: So they just see that stuff. They put it in a library and they hold onto it until they need it again.
[00:40:36] Jordan Harbinger: China sounds a little bit like my ex-girlfriend in that respect I'm not going to lie. I think a lot of us cannot relate. Like, "I'm going to remember this. It's going in a file, Jordan." I have an Evernote with every little thing that you've done that I don't like."
[00:40:48] Chris Fenton: One of the greatest moments of symbolism in this incredible leash that they have on the world when it comes to the power of their market, the power of capitalism, and the mission that we have to tap that market was this one-minute video from John Cena if you guys remember that.
[00:41:09] Jordan Harbinger: Is this the ice cream one?
[00:41:10] Chris Fenton: It was before the ice cream one. He essentially thanked Taiwan for being the first market in the world to show the latest, Fast & Furious movie. And China saw that and said, "Taiwan is not a market. Taiwan is China." So they made John Cena apologize for that.
[00:41:28] Jordan Harbinger: I remember in Chinese.
[00:41:30] Chris Fenton: In Chinese, and by the way, I made a movie Blockers behind me with John and he is an awesome guy, right? But he knows where his bread is buttered. And not only that, he knows where the bread is buttered of all the people that put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making these movies. So he didn't want to be the reason Fast & Furious didn't get into China.
[00:41:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:41:48] Chris Fenton: So he's been studying Chinese for the last 15 years, believing that's where the market is going and that's really smart.
[00:41:55] Jordan Harbinger: That makes sense because I'm like, for a guy who probably learned this, just this phrase in Chinese, he's pretty damn good. But the fact that he's been studying it longer than me makes me feel a little better. I'm like, dang, his accent is not bad.
[00:42:04] Chris Fenton: I know. It's a strange, almost like athlete wrestler accent that's sort of in there and it's hard to watch him like enunciate everything. But he learned Chinese or was a big studier of Chinese because of the WWE.
[00:42:18] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:42:18] Chris Fenton: Because they were starting to get entree into that market and he wanted to become one of the biggest sort of celebrities in that. And then on top of it, he knew his movie stardom was coming too. So he was super smart in a capitalistic type of directive, right? But when this all happened, what did he go do? He did what he felt like was in his best interest. He made a video specifically for the Chinese government to essentially apologize to the Chinese people. And he probably thought that maybe that would just stay contained to that market and no one would ever see it. You know, it's sort of hard to believe that he thought it was going to spread around the world. No one really thinks that when they do that stuff. But boy did it spread around the world and boy did he get a lot of heat for it. And you know, for him as somebody that needs that market, it was the smartest thing he could do. But he probably turned off a lot of his fan base in the West.
[00:43:10] Jordan Harbinger: He did. Yeah.
[00:43:11] Chris Fenton: And what I'll say, just to add to that, the opposite, and you ask about hope and you ask about standing up for things, right? And I'm, once again, like, I've been in John Cena's shoes, so I'm not going to pile on what he did there and say, oh, you evildoer, or whatever it is. I mean, I know where it was coming from, but in a hope kind of way, the WTA, the world's tennis organization or world's tennis association or women's tennis association, an entity that I never really thought of much. I'm not a big tennis player. I'll play every once in a while, but I'm not a big tennis player. They had this disappearance or, you know, it was a disappearance of Peng Shuai, the Chinese professional player. And she had played on the tour for a long time and created a lot of allies and friends from around the world. And she came out and said one of the former standing members of the Communist Party had harassed her sexually over the years, and she came out with this, you know, essentially public diatribe about how terrible this was and how hard it's been on her and all that kind of stuff. And moments after that came out, it did circulate, right? But then she disappeared. This is not something that you're allowed to do in China.
[00:44:21] And when she disappeared, all the players were concerned about her. Where is she? What's going on? The press started to wonder too. Various players started to say, "I'm never going to go play in China until I know what happened to her," all that kind of stuff. And then more and more pressure grew on the Women's Tennis Association to the point where they said, "You know what? We are not playing events in that market until Peng Shuai, we know is safe and sound and is going to be protected from any sort of penalty or punishment for what she did, which was right," especially considering the Me Too Movement that's been going on, right?
[00:44:54] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:44:55] Chris Fenton: So what's interesting is WTA got blackballed immediately from that market, as did a lot of the players that came out in support. But what was really cool is that the WTA, essentially, I call it the Muhammad Ali effect, right? They took a stand and they took a stand on the side of right. What was right? What was something that we're proud of? The principles and values and morals that we hold dearly, they took a stand on, right? And on top of it, a lot of us who never even thought of the WTA suddenly became cognizant of the WTA.
[00:45:25] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:45:26] Chris Fenton: So this organization that was just about women's tennis that was sort of niche and only the people in it understood it and cared about it, suddenly became a lot bigger than it ever had been before. And it was because they did the right thing. And what was awesome is that we started to see new events take the place of the ones in China. We started to see new partners take the place of the sponsors that they had in China. We started to see capitalism reward doing the right thing. And that gives me great hope that we can continue moving forward with that kind of model.
[00:45:56] Jordan Harbinger: It's good to see something like that happen. The Peng Shuai thing, I have to say was super, super creepy. So she posted this tweet essentially, not really a tweet, but something similar that said she was harassed or assaulted by this Standing Committee member. All her accounts get suspended. She vanishes from public eye. But then, when people start saying, "Hey, where is Peng Shuai?" This was a hashtag essentially, and this started to get a lot of heat internationally. She starts showing up in these weird videos where she's walking down into a tennis event and a reporter says, "Oh, we thought you disappeared." And she's like, "Oh no, I'm just resting. I've been resting at home watching Netflix," or whatever the Chinese equivalent is. Meanwhile, there's like two dudes behind her just sort of trying to get out of the camera shot, and she is, "Oh no, there's nothing wrong at all." And then she posts some photos of her just relaxing at home with something. The caption was something like just relaxing at home and all these netizens, right? They're going, "Hey, this is like six years old photo. You don't even look like this anymore. You have a different haircut. This dog you're holding is older now or is it you don't have it any, what are you talking about relaxing at home?" This is clearly not a recent photo. And then another video came out that was even more bizarre where she's sitting with her or a coach at some restaurant and they're like, "Peng Shuai spotted on video in Beijing having a casual dinner," and they catch all the audio, which is weird if you're just filming somebody who's talking and they don't notice this. They capture all the audio and she goes, "Oh, what do I have to do next week on December 11th, 2021?" No one talks like that when they're talking to somebody normally. And then the coach goes, "You will be playing in a tennis tournament on December 11th, 2021." She goes, "Next Wednesday, December 11th, 2021." It's just like, okay, we get it. You're trying to stage a video where she's saying the date, so it looks like nothing is wrong, but it's the clunkiest weirdest thing that I've ever seen. But that makes it even more just like North Korean psyop nonsense. It was so, so weird. I felt bad for her because I thought, man, blink twice if you're being held at gunpoint somewhere. It's just so obvious.
[00:48:02] Chris Fenton: Yeah. And what was even crazier is they used her a bunch around the Beijing Winter Olympics to try to rally support for athletes to get over there. See, everything is good. I'm Peng Shuai, here I am." And it was just, there was a lot of creepiness around all of it.
[00:48:17] Jordan Harbinger: What about commercials? Does this happen with commercials or was it mostly movies? I assume they just make different Nike commercials for China. Do you know anything about, okay, this has to have all these different elements? I guess what I'm asking you is China used to beg stars to go to China. Now, it's expected you have to go to China because of the market size, or maybe you even prioritize China. What's really wrong with this? This is just market power, right? But there's another angle here that's not — it's not just that.
[00:48:43] Chris Fenton: I mean, before the takeover of Hong Kong and COVID, we had lots of athletes, lots of celebrities, all these people heading over there to essentially, you know, kiss the ring and, and do the tours and build their awareness in that market. We haven't seen any of that since so it's really hard to predict what kind of status we get back to once zero COVID policy is gone because what we witnessed with the latest party congress just two weeks ago is that it looks like China's moving even more inwardly. And we might see a lot of that kind of stuff frozen out, which I think there's a lot of pluses too for us. Mainly because it seemed like the only way we were going to stop this kowtowing is if it was forced upon us by China.
[00:49:27] But if you look at just, I mean, I talk about it in my book. I mean, LeBron James, we used to work with Nike — in fact, we got into business when Nike in China back in '04, '05 because the company that was working with LeBron in China before created these series of commercials where LeBron James was playing basketball and the basketball in the commercial was sort of set up almost like a battle. And the battle he was fighting in this sort of basketball world was against dragons. And he defeated the dragons, right? Like, which seems like, "Whoa, you know what a cool commercial and it seems so Chinese and wow, I can see why they did that." Well, that's not really all that kosher when it comes to China. Like anybody defeating a dragon is essentially saying, "Oh, LeBron James essentially defeated China, right?" China looks at himself as the dragon. That symbolism is very strong, and they essentially banned Nike commercials for a period of time. LeBron was sort of persona non grata back then, and then they all had to reboot and rebuild their brand, both of them, LeBron and Nike over the course of the few years leading into that Olympics.
[00:50:39] Jordan Harbinger: Man, you really have to make these things all in concert with Chinese authorities. If you wanted to slide by. I know in early in the show, at the top of the show, I asked about Django Unchained and I said, let's talk about that. And I think we didn't quite make it back to that. That was an example of a movie just getting absolutely stomped on. Maybe kind of like this LeBron James commercial. Can you tell us about that? I'll ask again because I think we dropped the ball.
[00:51:00] Chris Fenton: Well, one of the things that I learned — and by the way, this is the way I talk about China. And it's fantastic the way you do interviews too, because it's like, I know we got a little inside baseball with Marvel, but the goal is just to try to get people to understand some of these things that are a little confusing or a little distant because in their daily lives, they don't really deal with it themselves, right? When I talk about China, I think it's really important to sort of say, hey, look, the government is there. They have 1.4 billion people, very hard to keep control of them as we see, which is the country of 330 million, we have our own issues here. And there they have food scarcity, they have water scarcity, they have commodity scarcity and energy scarcity. So they're doing everything they can to control tinderboxes from lighting on fire and becoming another Tiananmen Square like we had in 1989. Now, of course, all of us in the West are sort of maybe secretly rooting for something like that. That's not what they want, right?
[00:51:57] So if you look at Django Unchained, right? It shows the way the system of government is set up over there, right? Like here the government is plain as vanilla. The government works for the people. In China, the people work for the government, right? Like that's sort of the way it's looked at. And it's a bottom up type of layering so that everybody underneath somebody else has to report up, right? And that's how the chain of command works. So that person at the lowest level that you're dealing with, that is sort of in charge of the cog in the machine, that is whatever your product and service is for. In the situation of films that was called China Film Group. And China Film Group then reported to SARFT, which reported to the Ministry of Propaganda, which reported to the Politburo, which reported to the Standing Committee, right? So in order to get anything done, you had to make it really easy for them to report up the food chain, why they approve something. Because that next layer would then approve it based on that really simple byline.
[00:52:57] So with Looper, for instance, we said, "Here's a futuristic movie that is going to essentially display China as the place where the weight of the world is moving 40 years in the future." "Okay, great. That makes a lot of sense. I can pass it up the food chain," right? Iron Man 3. "Why should we let it in?" "Well, because Iron Man 3 is going to display the prowess of China and what they've built to become a world-class provider of medical services and technology, et cetera, et cetera." "Okay, that makes sense. Move it up." Django Unchained, apparently, the story was the people involved were trying to get that movie cleared happened to know that there were a handful of Quentin Tarantino fans at China Film Group, they actually waited for a holiday period where a lot of people — they have these big national holidays — are off on vacation. So they actually went to those fans and they showed the movie and said, "Here's Quentin Tarantino, you're a big fan. Let's get it approved and get in theaters." And of course, those members of the bureaucracy were like, "Whoa, this is great. You're paying attention to me. And it's Quentin. Is he going to come over? Can I talk to him on the phone?" whatever it is and they approved it.
[00:54:04] All right, cut to a few weeks later it's in theaters. It's got a big line out the door. There's a Politburo member driving down the street in his chauffeur-driven car. He looks at the movie theater and he goes, "What's that line of people out there for?" And the driver talks to somebody on the street and they say, "Oh, it's for this movie Django Unchained." And he goes, "Well, what's that about?" And you know, tries to explain what it's about. And the Politburo member is like, "Why did we approve that? That makes no sense." Because they don't like a lot of violence and a lot of stuff that simply doesn't help them, right? So he calls down the chain of command and said, "Why'd it get in?" And of course, by the time, it got to the ones that approved it, they're like, "Oh, because it's Quentin Tarantino." "Well, what's in it for us? What's in it for China? Why? It's a violent movie. Like, I don't get it. I don't get it." And the guy didn't have an explanation. So literally, after that call was over, a call went out to every movie theater in the country, the opening night of that film, and every screen went black.
[00:55:05] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:55:06] Chris Fenton: Every screen.
[00:55:07] Jordan Harbinger: That is crazy. That is really something. I mean, I don't know whether to be impressed or horrified. I'm a little bit of both. That is really something straight out of 1984, but just highly efficient. Unbelievable. I mean, you know, North Korea wishes they could do something like that. They have no ability to do this. Their censorship is hodgepodge, I guess you would say. This is really something where it almost seems like one person can make a call and absolutely send a torpedo through the hall of a multi-multimillion-dollar initiative that took years to complete and just in that market.
[00:55:38] Chris Fenton: Well, and also imagine if you're in charge of propaganda and whatever you're allowing in from the West influences somebody in your population to do something based on something you approved. Propaganda is immediate. It's not like being an official and giving your cousin the contract to build a school that collapses 30 years from now and kills a bunch of kids, right? A terrible tragedy. But you'll, you'll be gone. They'll be gone. Doesn't matter, right? Propaganda is immediate, right? You approve it, you know that thing is in theaters three weeks later. If something happens, it causes unrest, it causes — you know, like Crazy Rich Asians, which didn't even play in China, right? If that suddenly did play, you approved it. And now, everybody's going out on spending sprees and layering on debt upon debt, and suddenly kids are going bankrupt and parents are going bankrupt and it causes all these sparks to turn into fires, it's your head that gets cut off. So they're very, very careful.
[00:56:42] They think about it, they probably overthink about it. Like, how is this going to influence anybody that sees this propaganda that is coming from the West? Because Hollywood is simply a propaganda machine from the West. So they look at it like that and they're always looking at it like saying, "No, we're not going to approve it," until you can prove to them that it has enough things that is good for them and their directive to hold power to let it in.
[00:57:09] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Chris Fenton. We'll be right back.
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[01:00:07] Now for the rest of my conversation with Chris Fenton.
[01:00:11] Reminds me to ask you, I know you spent a ton of time in China. Have you ever tried to watch, say, CNN or other American news channels in China, even in a fancy hotel? It's very odd because you can tell that they're doing something to some of the broadcasts and I used to think, "Oh, this is just, they're editing out commercials because it's a US feed and there's a licensing." But you'll see something that is definitely not just a commercial cut and you're thinking, "Are they just blackout a story that they didn't like from the feed?" Do you know what's going on there? Is this ringing any bells for you at all?
[01:00:44] Chris Fenton: Yeah, it rings a lot of bells. I mean, well first of all, if you're a Chinese citizen, you can't get those channels, right?
[01:00:53] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:00:53] Chris Fenton: It's illegal to have a satellite dish to pick them up.
[01:00:56] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I didn't know that.
[01:00:57] Chris Fenton: Yeah. So the only way you can get those channels is if in you're in some sort of international hotel or expat hotel or whatever it is. Or if you're expat living there, you can get permission to put up a satellite or whatever it is. So you'll see those, you know, you'll see CNN International. And what's really interesting is they think about every news story and try to figure out exactly what that news story can do as far as influence to their 1.4 billion people. Now, in the event of when we were shooting our scenes in Beijing for Iron Man 3, it happened during the exact same time of the Sandy Hook massacre. I mean, to be in the US and to see that news must have been one thing. I can tell you, being in China was a—
[01:01:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:01:41] Chris Fenton: —whole other thing. Because China allowed not only all the stories around something that's super taboo in China, right? Like killing kids. I mean, kids are very protected over there. The idea of handguns or any sort of guns is very protected. Schools like super, super secure.
[01:02:01] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:02:01] Chris Fenton: It seems like a lot of stuff they wouldn't want people to see, but no, every segment was on all the international channels that had not gotten blacked out at all. And then on top of it, all the news for the Chinese populace was literally 24/7 coverage of it. And on top of it, the narrative was, "United States, it's like a gun capital of the world. It's like the cowboy, you know, sort of mentality. Be careful ever going there. It's too dangerous. We don't have that problem here in China. Thank God for our system. Thank God for our government. We don't have this kind of problem." Like that was the constant propaganda narrative that came around that particular scene.
[01:02:39] Then, there's other ones where you'll be watching CNN in your hotel room and something comes up about Anthony Blinken is like saying, "China should not invade Taiwan. Taiwan is not part of China." Suddenly, your screen goes black and it's a weird black. It's not like fuzz, it's not like something you would witness, like when your TV sort of goes out, it just goes black as if the TV exploded inside and it's not working.
[01:03:09] Jordan Harbinger: It's so weird.
[01:03:10] Chris Fenton: And then just as you're coming over to like unplug it and see if what's wrong with it, then it pops back on and there's some other story about, "Oh, and the flowers of Chengdu are Blooming. It's Spring." You know, like very strange how that works. And it's all on delay. And one thing about China is there's lots of people, so you have lots of people watching all this stuff inside the Ministry of Propaganda. We have lots of people watching our social media. We call them the 50-Cent bots, right? Which are constantly influencing—
[01:03:40] Jordan Harbinger: The people who comment weird stuff on anything and turn it around to make China great and/or the US bad or the West bad. All happens on every post related to China.
[01:03:49] Chris Fenton: Well, it's interesting too, because Brendan Carr, the head of our FCC is actually in Taiwan today, but he's very anti-TikTok and he was on CNBC this morning talking about the dangers of TikTok and the amount of data that we cannot keep from getting back to China, right? Like the servers are shared, all the different technology, all that kind of stuff. He's super worried about all that big data going back to China, being harvested by AI technology that may not exist today, but will exist two years from now.
[01:04:19] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:04:19] Chris Fenton: And how that's going to be used against us, right? And I'm 100 percent with him. I think TikTok is got to get banned. India did it. Why can't we? But the second thing that he didn't bring up, and I actually tweeted about it, and he retweeted it, is it's a two-way street. One thing that China's doing is they're using TikTok to suddenly, you know, very subtly step on the gas on certain things that are getting spread around, you know, little things. It's super subtle things that create dissension between the tribes that we have today. You know, anything that can conflate and make something go from spark to fire. They're out there doing and they're really, really good at it. They're great at curbing it. They're great at changing narrative when something's going awry.
[01:05:05] And in fact, in my book I talk about in 2000, I think it was '12, they had actually Uyghur minority, people were involved with this bus that ran over a bunch of people in the middle of Tiananmen Square. A lot of people died. There were these trained station stabbings, a bunch of other things that were these little sparks that we're creating unrest and China, rather than throwing gasoline on it, which they would do here in the US, they're very good at that.
[01:05:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. They'd say, "Terrorist attack, look, what happened." And then, there'd be debate. Well, they're Uyghurs, they're oppressed.
[01:05:35] Chris Fenton: Right.
[01:05:35] Jordan Harbinger: Well, whatever, they're still killing civilians. They just clamped it down. I assume nobody ever heard about it over there.
[01:05:41] Chris Fenton: No. What they did was they — well, because that unrest with the ethnic minorities was starting to spread to others. Like, you know, because the market wasn't great at the time. The stocks had just dove. Like, there was a lot of little things they were worried about. So immediately what they did was, "Hey, Senkaku Islands. Those are ours now. Let's go back to that old debate over whether they're Japanese or Chinese, and let's go create this like mock Red Herring war between coast guards, shooting water cannons at each other," and like literally while I was there in 24 hours, the narrative changed from, "Ooh, unrest around the country," to, "We hate Japan. We have nationalistic pride. We are China," and suddenly people were turning over cars in the middle of the street that were Toyotas or Nissans, or throwing Molotov cocktails at the consulate. It was pretty crazy. And they're so good at that.
[01:06:34] Jordan Harbinger: That reminds me of the not so, or possibly not so ridiculous conspiracy theory that — do you remember when, well, how could you forget when Bill Clinton got a BJ from Monica Lewinsky and then suddenly NATO was bombing Serbia and Kosovo. And are like, "Dude, your president gets a beej from some intern...we're getting missiles. This is not a coincidence." And if I used to roll my eyes, but I mean, they're possibly not completely off base here. It seems like the same thing.
[01:07:01] Chris Fenton: I mean, look, we all use narrative to spin certain things. You do it with your — I mean, I have 15-year-old kids, you know, you'll see as yours get older, you got to come up with like, reasons to get them to do something and you're creating a little bit of spin and that's just like something that happens in a daily household, right? But, if you look at the way CEOs talk on CNBC or how Biden or Lindsey Graham will spin whatever they're trying to get done in Washington, DC or, you know, various other influential people out there, there's always some sort of spin and narrative that they're trying to get others to keep relaying to others to create support in a groundswell. Or you can use it the other way to essentially create dissension and anger and frustration and, and ultimately revolution, right?
[01:07:48] And China has gotten very good at understanding narrative. Now, some of the things that they do, I would argue work against them, right? Like the Milan controversy, which we talked about. I actually did an op-ed for the South China Morning Post, and I actually gave a speech at the Beijing forum about it where I said to China, I said, "You guys should have just let Disney come out in the West and apologize for thanking those officials in Xinjiang and saying, 'it will never happen again, and we are for human rights,' and all that kind of stuff. In China, you could have firewalled that from getting to your 1.4 billion people and everybody would've just backed off the topic and said, 'You know what, Disney? I get it. You apologized. We're good.' Instead, you forced Disney to not say a word, and all it did was build and build and build and build, and suddenly you had a geopolitical issue on your hands and Xinjiang was front and center of everybody's topic of conversation. That was an example of you guys trying to control narrative around the world and it worked against you," right? So sometimes they make, I think, you know, mistakes in strategy on when they really try to push the envelope too much and it really works against them. We saw it with wolf warrior diplomacy and the way they were trying to force certain countries to do things and try to spin it as like, "Hey, this is good for your country," or whatever it was, and it just sounded so preposterous. So they do make mistakes.
[01:09:16] Jordan Harbinger: Wolf warrior diplomacy is kind of like this aggressive posture, and we see this from the chief diplomats from China where instead of saying something diplomatic, it's almost like they're them's fighting words most of the time. They'll say something like, "This is another provocation from the so-called democratic government of this country, and they're jealous of our, whatever, and then they're trying to take us down. The whole thing is a big myth," and it's like, wow, this, this guy is a diplomat? Like, have you read a book on diplomacy? This is the opposite of how you do it, and it probably looks real strong for your domestic consumption, right? Like, yeah, you tell everybody how it is and everybody else but around the world just looks at you and goes, what an a-h*le. This guy is a clueless piece of crap.
[01:09:56] Chris Fenton: Yeah, you're 100 percent. And it's based on, once again, we go back to the soft power of Hollywood, right? Like Rambo, if you remember those old Rambo movies where like Sylvester Stallone goes to some foreign country, the country is under some sort of dictator. It's evil. It's causing all kinds of problems with the people that live there. And then, a handful of like American vets put into prison. And now, Rambo has to not only save the day and save the Americans but also save the people from their terrible government or whatever it is, right?
[01:10:26] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:10:27] Chris Fenton: Well, Wolf Warrior and Wolf Warrior 2 and Wolf Warrior 3 were essentially Rambos. But from the China perspective of, "Hey, we're going to go to Africa and we're going to save innocent people that are in jeopardy, and we're going to make the countries better because we are China and we're going to do what's best for you because we are so powerful and mighty and good-willed," right? And then they extrapolate that into diplomacy where they say, "Hey, Solomon Islands, yeah, we're going to build this port here. You're going to give us access to our ships to refuel. We're going to maybe build a little artificial reef off the coast there too, to put up a couple of satellite dishes and maybe a couple of missile silos. And this is good for you. We're doing this because we want what's best for you, Solomon Islands," and people are sort of not buying the Wolf Warrior there.
[01:11:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, no, there's a lot of examples of this happening that are, it's now getting more attention. I feel like we were sleeping on this before. I want to be cognizant of your time as well, but I'm curious, the feeding the dragon metaphor, the title of your book, I want you, I want you to explain what this means because look, China owns some major Hollywood studios. There's a lot of investment in apps and tech companies from CCP or even just officials or official funds here in the United States, that's where stuff starts to get scary, I think for people who are less trusting of just, "Hey, it's just an investment, like any other capitalist investment." Like is it though? The movie business seems like the canary in the coal mine. "Oh yeah, we just want to help you get the movies in and out. Actually, we want to control everything. What, wait a minute. Is that what you're doing with the Internet now? Is that what you're doing with 5G now? Is that what you're doing with your investments in other countries now?" People are starting to get more suspicious of this. I'm one of those people.
[01:12:10] Chris Fenton: Yeah. I mean, well, Hollywood's a bit of a canary in the coal mine. I mean, we at one point had 85 percent of the market share there with our movies. And in fact, the government had to come in and throttle it so that we weren't just decimating their local industry.
[01:12:24] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:12:25] Chris Fenton: And then, you know, they really made it harder and harder for us to get access to that market unless we really helped them on process and design and, and how to make these movies at a world-class level. I mean, I remember looking at a movie script in China back in say 2007, 2008, and it was a single-page paper. And I said to the guy, "Wait a minute, what is this? Is this the title page?" He's like, "No, that's the movie. We're going to shoot off of that." And I was like, "Oh boy, we got to get into three-act structure and all this other kind of stuff." So anyway, they really wanted to learn from us how to fish, and we taught them how to fish and now they fish really well in the Hollywood business. And the Hollywood business has literally gone from an 85 percent market share to less than five percent. That's happening in automobiles, that's happening in sporting goods, that's happening in various other technology. It's going to eventually happen to Elon and Tesla. There's all kinds of imitators for Tesla out there.
[01:13:21] One of the best things he did was prevent forced JVs. He actually said, "I'll come, but you can't force me into one of those JVs where they just steal all your tech IP." But instead, they're like, "Fine, we're okay with that." And all they do is stage these rocket explosions of Teslas, and then they say, "Hey, by the way, you know, we got to investigate that explosion that's on 50 different CCTV cameras and see what your designs and all your IPs so we can figure out how to stop that." So eventually he's going to get ousted from that country too, just like every other product and service. We're seeing that with Boeing and Airbus with their new commercial liner that's coming on in China. So it's constantly being repeated.
[01:14:00] So Feeding the Dragon to me, which I wish I could take credit for, but my wife who's awesome, she was talking to me in the kitchen with my two young kids. I think they were like three at the time, and we were doing Iron Man. And she overheard me talking to Marvel about the stuff I was trying to get them to do in the plot of the movie. And she just said, "What are you doing? Don't you feel like you're selling the soul of the story to please the Chinese Communist Party? And this doesn't feel weird to you?" And I said, "No, no, no, you don't understand." And by the way, I did this a lot over the years, right? "You don't understand. We're spreading the soft power of democracy in a communist country. We're building GDP and jobs here because of we're opening this country to our products and services, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." And she's like, "I don't know. It feels like you're sort of feeding the monster here. Like you just keep doing this." And you know she was there when I did Looper and it was bad enough. Now, we were doing it, you know, that was a 35-million-dollar movie. Now, we were doing it with a 215-million-dollar movie. And she's just like, "It looks like it's getting worse and worse. You're feeding a monster and eventually, the monster is just going to get so powerful, you can't control it." And I said, "No, no, no," and then I joked, I was like, "Yeah, it's not really a monster, it's a dragon. It's China." She's like, "Well, you're feeding the dragon." And that's where the idea for the book title came from, and that is essentially what we're doing.
[01:15:24] And that dragon was sleeping, it was lumbering, you know, post-Korean Peninsula War, when we had frozen relationships with it, it was completely non-threatening. And then, in 1972, Kissinger and Nixon went over there. Next thing you know, in '79, we open up trade. Then, we go through Tiananmen Square Massacre, and we decide to all look the other way because we realized that dragon was waking up and that dragon could actually be very profitable. And then, it continued into 2001 when we let them into the WTO as a developing nation, which they still are designated as one, which is ridiculous.
[01:15:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. The World Trade Organization. This—
[01:16:01] Chris Fenton: Yeah.
[01:16:01] Jordan Harbinger: —massive superpower is getting subsidies and tax breaks, essentially.
[01:16:05] Chris Fenton: Exactly. So we really fed the dragon to the point now where it is massive, it's a superpower. It's encroaching beyond its borders into areas that are national security interest issues. And then, on top of it, they're threatening our allies. They're wanting to, quote, "reunify" Taiwan. You know, we saw sort of what happened to Hong Kong a couple of years ago. It's all starting to rear its head, and we need to get really smart with how we're going to rebalance this relationship with China. We do not want war with China. We do not want a traditional Cold War with China. I know there's a lot of experts out there that will say that we're in some sort of unrestricted warfare via cyber and financial and—
[01:16:48] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:16:49] Chris Fenton: —propaganda, et cetera. And I'll agree. We're in battles right now in a lot of that stuff. And we need to get smart. And like I say on my Twitter handle, you know, I think that, and I see it with my son playing lacrosse or soccer. We have a rival that has gotten almost as good as us, and that should help us rise higher. You know, I know we've gotten really tribalists here in this country, but I think we need to raise the bar of where we are as a tribe. We're not Democrat versus Republican, red versus blue, or races versus each other here in the US. We need to say, you know what? We're the tribe of the United States of America. We're the tribe of the West, and we need to put that tribal energy behind, taking a strong stand against China and its encroachment, and coming up with smart strategies and smart policy to move forward in a way that allows us to coexist with the other superpower without getting into some sort of conflict.
[01:17:51] But I have a lot of hope. I do think that China's challenge is going to help unite this country. We need to unite as a country. This is something that's near and dear to my heart. You know, you and I would not have families and amazing occupations and lives without, you know, what makes the foundation of this country great. And I do think we can come together, especially when we have challenges around the world that will require us to do that. And I just want to put that hope out there for your audience. That there is a lot of people like myself, I'm just one of those cogs in the wheel that are out there trying to rally that without trying to create flames that you just aren't going anywhere constructively. Like, we need to be constructive and diligent about this and we can do it.
[01:18:36] Jordan Harbinger: Chris Fenton, thank you so much. Really appreciate your expertise and your time today.
[01:18:40] Chris Fenton: Thanks for having me, Jordan. Really appreciate it.
[01:18:43] Jordan Harbinger: You are about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with Desmond Shum, a Chinese billionaire who did business in the highest circles of the Chinese Communist Party.
[01:18:53] Desmond Shum: Red aristocrats, they are by bloodline. So when you are born, you're born in this different section of hospital from the rest of the country. No money can buy you into their section. So they'll go to a different private school, kindergarten, different primary school, different secondary school. They have farms dedicated only grow for them and then the car they ride in have a separate license plate. We drive in the bike lane, we drive in the bus lane. It's the royalty and the aristocrats of the medieval times.
[01:19:24] Jordan Harbinger: Your wife, she gets an exit ban from China and then she disappears and this is the part that is just Twilight Zone bizarre. You've been calling her for four years. Her mom's been calling her every day for four years. You write this book. Suddenly, she calls you on the phone from the number that had been dead for four years. What the hell is going on?
[01:19:48] Desmond Shum: About a year and a half after her disappearance, I was in London talking to this friend. We were having coffee together. He looked me in the eyes. He said, "You know, they will never let her out." And then he said, "Like a matter of family, if they let her out, they're going to give her a shut down her spine, she will come out as a zombie." "Really? The state can do something. And they will do something like that."
[01:20:10] Jordan Harbinger: You were friendly with many people in Xi Jinping's inner circle. How do you assess his character?
[01:20:15] Desmond Shum: He sees himself as an emperor to rejuvenate a dynasty. That's what he wants to do. That is, I think, for everybody, including Chinese in China, that's the most dangerous thing because he's re-engineering the entire country in every dimension. Where it's going to end? That's the most dangerous thing.
[01:20:38] Jordan Harbinger: To hear how it all came crashing down, his wife vanished, and his escape abroad, check out episode 684 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:20:48] Thanks to Chris for coming on the show. His book is full of China's stories, tales from the film industry, a story of Robert Downey Jr. almost getting crushed by Chinese fans, literally falling out of trees. Chris has really come a long way. He once got fired for housing tiramisu in the staff closet at Olive Garden and made his way through the top of the pile in Hollywood. They literally caught him on camera housing, tiramisu desserts in a closet. Probably didn't necessarily want me to tell you that, but there you have it.
[01:21:17] Again, the book has a ton of interesting stories about China, about the movie industry. It turns out China messes with release dates for movies to punish studios for not doing what they want. So they'll either make it really late after the US release, so of course, people pirate the movie or they put the release dates for huge films all on the same day so that they cannibalize each other's sales. It's a lot of sort of strong arming of Hollywood and that's why you see a lot of these weird edits in American movies that are for Chinese release. Weird, like Skyline changes, all the stuff that he talked about here on the show today.
[01:21:49] And a big thank you to Chris. The book and all of his links will be in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes, videos on YouTube. Advertisers, deals, discount codes, and our AI chatbot to help you find answers from any episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show, including promo codes. That's going to be jordanharbinger.com/deals or jordanharbinger.com/ai if you want to check out the chatbot and let me know what you think of that. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.
[01:22:18] Of course, I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using the same system, software, and tiny habits that I use every single day. It's our Six-Minute Networking course, and that course is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig that well before you get thirsty, folks. Many of the guests on the show actually subscribe to the course, so come join us, you'll be in smart.
[01:22:39] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. And if you know somebody who's interested in China, interested in the movie industry, definitely share this episode with them because the greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:23:12] Once again, special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show. We really appreciate your support.
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