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One World, Big ScreenHollywood, the Allies, and World War II$
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M. Todd Bennett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835746

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837467_bennett

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Negotiating the Color Divide

Negotiating the Color Divide

Race and U.S. Paternalism toward China

Chapter:
(p.217) 6 Negotiating the Color Divide
Source:
One World, Big Screen
Author(s):

M. Todd Bennett

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837467_bennett.11

This chapter discusses how the U.S. film industry encouraged viewers to embrace the Chinese as like-minded friends in the worldwide struggle against the Axis powers. In the film Charlie Chan in the Secret Service, U.S. propagandists enlisted Charlie Chan and his fellow “Chinese” actors to serve as the onscreen spokespersons for a promotional campaign in an effort to introduce and acculturate Americans to their new Chinese ally. As Sino-American mediators, they worked hard to incorporate Jiang's republic into the United Nation's body politic and implicitly asked moviegoers to rethink their Orientalist preconceptions.

Keywords:   propagandists, Charlie Chan in the Secret Service, Chinese, Axis, Americans, Sino-American mediators, Jiang, United Nation, Orientalist

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