Mexico appears to have found a solution to the aversion of tourists and businesses in going to the coutnry with rising drug-based violence, kidnappings, and corruption: they are bribing movie moguls to scrub the image of the country in major movies. MGM and Sony reportedly ordered changes to the new James Bond movie to give positive views of Mexico and drop the image of a Mexican villain. Now that is product placement.
Mexican officials were reportedly allowed to change the script to insist that the villain would be played by a non-Mexican actor (from a less generous country) and to drop the mayor of Mexico City as an assassination target as well as the removal of the Mexican police as the law enforcement force in the film. Other changes were made to show positive features of Mexico, including the use of “known Mexican actress” as the “Bond girl.”
While such demands might be shocking from an artistic perspective for most people, movie executives make the members of Mara Salvatrucha look like moral purists. The news report says that then-Sony Chair Amy Pascal told the filmmakers to “add whatever travelogue footage we need in Mexico to get the extra money.” (It appears that all North Korea had to do is offer Sony money and could have forgone the hacking effort. “The Interview” could have been changed to an assassination of the South Korean president with uplifting scenes of the Workers Paradise that is the Hermit Kingdom).