I’m only posting this because he makes a specific reference to Star Wars:
Richard Gere has argued his vocal stance on Tibet has cost him Hollywood blockbuster roles because the academy is fearful of alienating its burgeoning Chinese audience.
“There are definitely movies that I can’t be in because the Chinese will say, ‘Not with him,’” he told the Hollywood Reporter.
“I recently had an episode where someone said they could not finance a film with me because it would upset the Chinese.”
Fortunately, the actor made it clear he was not upset about not being given the roles for studio blockbusters. “I’m not interested in playing the wizened Jedi in your tentpole,” he said. “I was successful enough in the last three decades that I can afford to do these [smaller films] now.”
Besides basic casting decisions (Rogue 1, Independence Day 2016 come to mind), there are also any number of films where the script was altered, in order to accommodate more screen time for the Chinese supporting roles.
And of course, at a more fundamental level, when financing is needed for something that is not a comic book tentpole, Chinese investors will only bankroll state-approved films. There is also the issue of Chinese people in the business who are not allowed to associate with certain film projects in any way, under direct threat to themselves and especially their families back home.