U.S. Attorney General William Barr offered harsh words for several American tech giants, as well as Hollywood studios and filmmakers, for their purported relationships with China in a fiery speech given at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday.
Barr’s prepared remarks, which were later made available by the Department of Justice, focused on the country’s response to the Chinese Communist Party’s global ambitions, deeming that the CCP has sought to undermine the “rules-based international system” while making the world “safe for dictatorship.”
The two-time attorney general — who previously served under President George H. W. Bush before joining the administration of current President Donald Trump — further opined that America’s response to the CCP would have a historic impact in determining whether the U.S. and its democratic allies would continue to shape their own destinies or if China and “its autocratic tributaries will control the future.”
During his speech, Barr criticized American organizations and institutions for their relations with China. In doing so, he slammed the tech industry, specifically naming Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple as corporations that have been “all too willing to collaborate with the CCP.”
Among other issues, Barr pointed to Apple’s removal of the news app Quartz from its app store in China, after Chinese officials complained about coverage of the ongoing democracy protests in Hong Kong, as an example of this collaboration.
Barr also took aim at the film industry, decrying perceived hypocrisy of actors, producers and directors who “pride themselves on celebrating freedom and the human spirit” while also censoring films to appease the Communist Party, who he referred to as “the world’s most powerful violator of human rights.”
To that end, Barr noted that in the Paramount Pictures film World War Z — in which a worldwide virus turns people into flesh-eating zombies — the pandemic’s patient zero was originally meant to be from China, as was the case in the novel the film was based on. However, references to China were reportedly removed at the studio’s behest in hopes of landing a Chinese distribution deal.
He also cited Marvel’s Doctor Strange and the decision of the film’s studio to change a character who was a Tibetan monk in the comic books that inspired the film to a person of Celtic origins in an effort to appease China.
Barr’s address comes three weeks after National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien had declared that “the days of American passivity and naivety regarding the People’s Republic of China are over,” a quote that Barr cited during his remarks.
As reported previously by The Inquisitr, Barr has also been in the news for allegedly being against the commuting of Roger Stone’s sentence by the president.