And the Oscar for Hypocrisy Goes to . . . 

The latest Oscar controversy surrounds actor Donnie Yen, who has been chosen as an Academy Award presenter for Sunday night’s broadcast. Yen is an avowed supporter of Communist China’s genocidal regime. In response, a Change.Org petition has been circulated to prevent Yen’s appearance at the annual awards show. Interestingly, the flap poses a challenge to the intellectual honesty of those both on the Left and the Right of America’s political divide.

The Left appropriately rejects and reviles fascism. Yet, this is where the Left’s outrage over autocracy ends. Evidently, the Left’s opposition to autocracy only ratchets to the right, because it refuses to concede the evils of communism. 

Claiming to be a scientific ideology of “liberation” and “equality,” communism is an inherently hateful ideology rooted in envy that denies God and human beings’ free will and inherent dignity. The historical record shows that communism has murdered more innocents and crushed more freedoms than any other ideology. Yet, today’s elitist Left refuses to condemn communism as an equivalent evil to fascism and autocracy—despite the heinous case of totalitarian Communist China, including its racist genocide against the Uighurs.

When confronted, the Left will default to their knee-jerk “what-aboutism” claim that the American Right embraces fascism, etc. This bumper sticker response is risible on its face, beginning with the fact fascism and autocracy are decidedly not the goals of a movement supporting less government. But even if one were to stipulate this irrational smear, it is irrelevant. The hypocrisy of one’s opponent does not excuse one’s own hypocrisy.

For Hollywood, particularly, their hypocrisy when it comes to communism involves more than ideology. Money also plays an important role in Hollywood’s catering to the Beijing regime. The overseas market in Communist China for American films remains lucrative, though it is shrinking. Nonetheless, such catering to a fascist regime—including censorship—should spark righteous condemnation across the political spectrum. 

Ultimately, though, the Left’s paranoiac ideologic prism drives its obliviousness to the proven dangers of communism, for it is an ideology of the Left. (As, in fact, is fascism, though the Left refuses to admit that, too.) Consequently, those who care to tune in will witness perpetually virtue-signaling Hollywood’s hypocritical spectacle of a sycophant of a brutal, racist, genocidal regime grace the stage of their self-congratulatory Oscar stroke fest. It is an irony worthy of . . . Hollywood. 

It is intellectually dishonest to oppose fascism but not to oppose communism equally. After all, both murderous ideologies have the same impact upon their victims. Thus, citing the Left’s willful ignorance and, in some instances, embrace of this hateful ideology is not designed to merely condemn their hypocrisy and score partisan points. It is done to encourage them to reject the hateful ideologies of both fascism and communism; and, as the Left might say, “save lives.”

For the Right, this Oscar controversy also poses a dilemma. How so? The Right reviles and rejects communism (and fascism and autocracy). Yen is an apologist for an inhuman communist regime. Thus, the Right signs the petition, and their intellectual honesty remains intact. Dilemma solved.

Except, it is not. 

If the Right signs on to the petition, it would constitute an act of intellectual dishonesty. Stalwart proponents of free speech and opponents of cancel culture, the Right cannot engage in the latter if they truly support the former. No matter how enticing it is to respond in kind to the “cancel culture” Left, especially when it comes to denouncing the communist ideology, like so many other temptations the latent consequences will manifest their damage after it is too late to resist that first bite at the poisonous apple. In this instance, it will erode the Right’s high ground for advocating free speech by compelling it to engage in “what-aboutism.” Engaging in cultural Marxism will not stop it, only spread it. Again, as with the Left: just because your opponent is hypocritical, it does not excuse your own hypocrisy.

The solution for the Right is not to join the Left in spreading cancel culture or downplaying the evils of communism. It is to support free speech and the uncensored debate that communists and every manner of autocrat rightly fear as the ultimate obstacle to their totalitarian aims, because it reveals the depravity and historical crimes of their murderous screeds. The Right needs to absolutely denounce and debate Yen’s views—and those of all apologists and abettors of communism; however, no one should seek to destroy Yen’s or anyone’s career due to their political views. The Right should sign a petition publicly rejecting Yen’s views, but should not participate in his  cancellation from the awards show.  

Who, then, will win the Oscar for hypocrisy? The side of the political spectrum that will not revile and reject communism, fascism, and all forms of autocracy. The side that will support censorship and cancel culture. The side that refuses to recognize and agree that there are times when there is no place for politics.

Do you really need me to open the envelope? 

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: Donnie Yen (center) attends the opening of the 14th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), March 04, 2023 in Beijing. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

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