Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher criticized Disney and the NBA on Wednesday for “bending the knee” to China.
On Tuesday, Gallagher became the chairman of the House’s newly established select committee to investigate the economic and technological challenges posed by China. He told radio host Hugh Hewitt that the NBA and Disney will have to testify before the committee since its ties to China are upsetting to the American people.
“Consider this me giving them the initial warning order that they’ll have to testify before the committee,” he said. “You know, I’d be even willing to go out, when it comes to Hollywood or Disney, I’d be willing to go out and sit down with them where they are, you know, engage with them in a discussion. But we want to have a discussion in front of the American people. I think it drives the American people crazy when they see the NBA bending the knee to Xi Jinping. It really drives them crazy, and also, the bigger concern is that it gives us a preview of what’s going to happen to the rest of our domestic industries if we allow the Chinese Communist Party to control the commanding heights of technology and the economy.”
“They will be able to blackmail the entire world. They will be able to coerce the entire world. That’s not just isolated to the greedy executives in Hollywood or the NBA. That’s a preview of things to come if we do not change course with a sense of urgency,” he continued.
Audio/transcript: Chairman @RepGallagher on the new Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party: https://t.co/aWw8so7O5C
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) January 11, 2023
The House voted 365-65 to establish the Gallagher-led committee that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy pledged will “win this economic competition with China.” The representative said the panel will consist of nine Republican and seven Democrats, but the memberships on the committee have not yet been decided. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Mike Gallagher To Warn Of ‘Maximum Danger’ To Taiwan As Xi Threatens ‘All Measures’)
Gallagher and other government officials have emphasized the potential threat to U.S. national security by China. The Walt Disney Company have repeatedly conducted business with China, such as opening a $5.5 billion resort in Shanghai in 2016 and have had a large presence in the country’s film industry by avoiding the use of Chinese villains and avoiding certain content.
The NBA also has a $5 billion business in China, and ESPN found in May that the sports corporation owns more than $10 billion tied up in China. Chinese censors suspended NBA broadcasting over a tweet by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey in support of Hong Kong protesters, though the NBA resumed its broadcasting 17 months later.