In an attempt to continue an existing scheme of protectionist quotas for theaters and television stations, European filmmakers have admitted that no one likes their movies. Right now, European countries like France require that a certain portion of movies shown to the public be of domestic or European origin. The possibility that a U.S.-EU trade agreement could end these quotas has prompted some European filmmakers to start an online petition acclaiming the virtues of cultural diversity.
The best part of the petition is the filmmakers’ claim that European civilization will fail without them:
The liberalisation of the audiovisual and film sector will lead to the destruction of all of what until now protected, promoted and helped develop European cultures. . . .
Those who, in the name of Europe, will have accepted this resignation will be forever guilty in the eyes of history. Cultural diversity must not be just another bargaining tool. It must remain an ambition, a legitimate demand, and a commitment.
It is not too late!
Let me paraphrase: If Europeans are allowed to consume our competitor’s product, Europe will cease to exist. I’m sure other domestic industries wish they could get away with claiming to be the guardian of national identity, though I’d be impressed if they could make it with a straight face. Maybe the U.S. automobile industry should give it a try.