Insulting China? No, Doctor Strange 2 is shaming US and Hollywood
Published: May 01, 2022 04:01 PM
The movie <em>Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness</em>. Photo: CFP

The movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Photo: CFP

A group of anti-China forces outside China, especially supporters of the anti-China Falun Gong cult recently raved about the Marvel Studios movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness set to be released in the US on Friday. 

An official clip of this superhero film depicts a scene where, while the main character of the movie, Doctor Strange, is fighting an octopus-like monster on the streets of New York, a newsrack labeled "The Epoch Times," the mouthpiece of the Falun Gong, also appears in the frame.

Anti-China forces outside China who take pleasure in "offending" China, especially the supporters of the Falun Gong cult, are extremely thrilled by the appearance of such Falun Gong "nods" in such a Hollywood blockbuster, proudly stating that "Doctor Strange is insulting China." However, in my opinion, showing the elements of the cult banned by China 20 years ago and its mouthpiece is not an insult to China. Instead, it is putting the US and Hollywood to shame.

After fleeing to the US, forces from the Falun Gong cult spare no effort to infiltrate and poison US society and spread pernicious ideas, such as anti-intellectualism. Since Donald Trump became president in 2016, the Falun Gong cult and its mouthpiece "The Epoch Times" have continuously catered to the right-wing in the US that supports Trump. Their "flower of evil" has come into bloom and become a major platform for the spreading of right-wing populist ideas in the US.

Numerous reports from mainstream US media have proven that "The Epoch Times" in recent years has been spreading a lot of false information about the state of US domestic politics and the COVID-19 epidemic. For example, the Falun Gong mouthpiece claims that Biden "rigged" the 2020 presidential elections. It also says that COVID-19 vaccines are harmful and should not be administered, or COVID-19 can be cured by practicing Falun Gong.

In particular, after Trump's supporters stormed Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, some US mainstream media said that"The Epoch Times" whitewashed the rioters by justifying their actions with rumors. It even argued that Trump should simply overthrow the Biden administration because Biden won the election "illegally."

Moreover, an article from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in July 2020 exposed Falun Gong as exercising mind control over its followers. This includes preventing them from going to hospital for medical treatment if they are sick and brainwashing them with racist ("race mixing in humans is part of an alien plot to drive humanity further from the gods") and homophobic ("homosexuality was wrong") ideas that are completely contrary to present-day US mainstream values.

Hollywood, which represents the benchmark of the US film industry, has always considered itself the "guardian" of such values. So, when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness alludes to the Falun Gong and "The Epoch Times," it is clear whether this is an offense to China or an insult to the US mainstream and Hollywood.

After the exposure of such a controversy, it is unknown whether Marvel Studios will remove the Falun Gong element from the film. But no matter what it chooses to do, it has almost no impact on China. After all, it will only be a matter of one more or one less US movie in the Chinese market.

But it will be a bigger deal for US society if Marvel Studios openly "advertises" for a cult and its mouthpiece that sugar up the Capitol riot, keep spreading political rumors, and even advocate for "segregation."

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn