“If YouTube Were A Country, We’d Be The Third Largest In The World After China and India” (Bond, 2013).

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“Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube with our monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly 10 Super Bowl audiences” (Bond, 2013).

Michael Curtain details growing anxieties about how the geography and environment of television is changing and the conditions of Hollywood’s dominance have been dramatically altered today. Curtain also describes how Hollywood is facing growing competition from media capitals with transnational aspirations.  An example of one of these new global capitals is YouTube and with the company reaching one billion unique monthly users early this year it is fairly obvious why it is generating anxiety in Hollywood.

After the announcement of the opening of a state of the art production facility in Los Angles the YouTube Space is just an example of where the company is beginning to branch into the professional content industry (Alvear, 2013).  The forty one thousand square foot facility features sound stages, recording studios, editing bays, screening rooms and green screens – all free of charge to use for leading YouTube producers. This has allowed local content producers to be more sophisticated and think bigger with their productions (Alvear, 2013).

This includes YouTubers like Freddie Wong who uses the space to shoot the popular web show series “Video Game High School”.  Wong describes how the space allows for content producers like him to create content at a much higher level, almost like a Hollywood production.

Even well known content producers who are famous for their works in Hollywood are drifting towards the popular media form. These include producers Simon Cowell, who announced the launch of his own channel and director Ridley Scott who has agreed to work for a network of YouTube channels creating short films (Bond, 2013).

YouTube is interesting as its headquarters are situated closely to that of Hollywood. However the platform is far more globalised and has been around for a much shorter period of time.

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“I Feel Like We’re Losing It” (Scarface 2013)

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Hip-Hop artist Scarface recently publicised his irritation about how race and racism affect the music which is being released by record companies (Vasquez, 2013). In a recent interview, in which he tried to be as offensive as possible, he stated that hip-hop was becoming too white and too Jewish and that he believes there’s a conspiracy against African Americans in hip-hop to make them look dumb (Vasquez, 2013). Brad Terrance Jordan who uses the stage name Scarface originates from Houston, Texas has made a career both solo and with hip-hop group Getto Boys since the early 1990’s (Vasquez, 2013).

Female hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea, who comes from an Australian background growing up in Mullumbimby, respectfully disagreed with Jordan’s (Scarface) comments stating:

“I think this idea of ‘rap should be black’ or ‘rap should be this or that’ is worrying to me because it’s like—segregation” (Harling, 2013).

She also went on to applaud hip-hop; it’s diverse range and its ability to unify people from every cultural background (Hughes, 2013). 

However Azalea has also be slammed in recent articles after releasing a video clip that had a Bollywood inspired theme.  Although the clip entitled “Bounce” was met with a welcoming stride by some fans others have accused her of cultural appropriation (Northern Star, 2013).

One individual commented that:

“This went beyond cultural appropriation and entered the realm of religious insult” (Northern Star, 2013). 

It is not the first time that the rapper has come under attack. In February 2012 Azalea released the song entitled “DRUGS” in which she made references to herself as being a “runaway slave master” (Caton, 2012). Among the many African Americans who took offence to the statement hip-hop star Azealia Banks commented that the song “trivialized black culture” (Caton, 2012).

These cases are examples of the fine line that has been drawn in today’s contemporary world in regards to culture, gloabisation and hip-hop.

“I Am Nevertheless Always Cautious, Even On Edge” (Dong, 2012)

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Many would be aware of the ongoing attacks on Indian students during the period of 2009-2010.  It was these attacks that led to consequences including families calling back their children to their country of birth and the number of Indian students applying for student visas falling by half (NDTV, 2010).


However these attacks are not the only instance where Australia has fostered an unwelcoming culture for International students studying abroad. Recently two Chinese international students were victims of a gang assault on Sydney’s public transport system. The robbery, which included racial taunts, left one of the victims with a fractured nose and cigarette burns (Cai, 2012).

The account of the event sent shockwaves through Australia’s international student community (Dong, 2012). With the growth of social media it was not long before the news had travelled back to China. One of the victims, twenty nine year old Xuan, posted online about the incident and the account was re-tweeted more than ten thousand times on China’s popular microblogging website Weibo (Dong, 2012). After this is was not long before the incident was televised with The China Central Television network sending warning messages that there was a serious threat to the safety of Chinese students in Australia (Dong, 2012).  There were even reports that more than three thousand students had signed a petition and were considering staging a rally (Cai, 2012).

With a growing number of international students having negative intercultural experiences with Australia it depicts the country in a tone which is extremely parochial and even to an extent ethnocentric. It is also leading to students preferring to explore education opportunities in other areas of the world such as Canada and the United Kingdom (NDTV, 2010).

Dong, an Asian international student from the University of Melbourne, believes that the incident will add to the growing violent reputation Australia is adopting and states that:

It is a shame that many of us don’t feel acceptance and respect. I would like to feel safe in Australia but it is hard to relax enough to make real connections here with nightmare stories”

“Audiences Should Not Be Treated as ‘Cultural Dopes’” (Barker, 1999)

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It is fairly obvious that the animation studio Pixar has gained a respectable reputation in regards to its universally appealing films and it’s forward thinking production. Movies such as such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo have built the company’s name exploring the notions of nostalgia, transcending expectations and stereotype deconstruction.

However, although Pixar has grown to become one of the worlds leading animation studios the company has received increasing criticism in regards to the unwelcoming cultural stereotypes portrayed within their films (McMillan, 2012).

In recent films such as Brave and Ratotouille the studio has portrayed a romanticised version of Scotland and idealised notions of Paris. The Incredibles conjured disapproval after casting a black comic relief partnered with his sassy wife (McMillan, 2012) Pixar have even been criticised for upholding a sexist, homophobic culture in Toy Story 3.

 

Christopher Barker describes how content that flows across geographical boarders can play an influencing factor within the makeup of cultural identities. However he also goes on to write that television is a site that frames various cultural stereotypes through dominant ideology.

The animation company serve as an example of cultural imperialism and how Globalisation is leading to homogenisation of a monoculture as it disseminates “Americanised” views of certain places and people. The United States can be seen as the leading exporter of cultural goods with the entertainment industry being one of its largest export earners with the estimated value of the cultural and creative industries sitting at around $1.3 trillion in 2005 (Thussu, 2006). Hollywood films dominate the market share with content being consumed in more than one hundred and fifty countries (Thussu, 2006).

However as Appaduri describes, the exchange of culture is not one way and the United States should not be held purely responsible for inadequacies that come from an array of players within the world economy.

Non Online References
Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’ Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47