LeBon Protects His Moive Ambitions With China Defense

By Robert Marich
   Oct. 18, 2019-Controversial comments by basketball player LeBron James publicly endorsing anti-democratic actions by China may have been a bid to protect his movie access in the Asian territory, says a New York Post story.
   LeBron, who is a member of the L.A. Lakers, chastised a National Basketball Assn. team executive who tweeted support of Hong Kong protesters who are resisting encroachment on their freedom by China. Beijing immediately denounced the tweet and penalized the NBA in China.
   LeBron has movie ambitions including Space Jam 2 whose economic fortunes would be hurt or boosted by getting permission to play in Chinese theaters.
   “LeBron James’ dream of Hollywood stardom — and box office riches — may be behind his controversial decision to speak out against supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, experts said,” according to the NY Post article.
   LeBron’s comments pandering to authoritarian rule undercuts the popular media narrative of athletes being heroic social warriors; when a pocket-book issue is involved here, LeBron chucked aside principle. The episode also indicates how off-the-cuff talent chatter can ignite an unwelcome firestorm.
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