My case study focused on the localization of the TV show Ugly Betty’s US and Chinese, Ugly Wudi, adaptations. It focused on globalization, localization, and cultural proximity. People prefer shows with their own language and culture, so Ugly Wudi “was modified in order to fit the Chinese cultural context and the state’s ideological requirements” (Fung, A., & Zhang, X. (n.d)).
Globalization reduces differences between nations by showing the similarity of different nations interests through selling TV show formats. These shows are localized so that viewers can still identify with the characters. One example is how the movie “Inside Out” had the girl hating broccoli in the US version, but hating green peppers in the Japanese version (Translate Media, 2015).
To answer the week’s question, “How does globalization shape media products and industries?”, globalization created a new way of business and connection by having companies buy and sell TV show formats to and from each other. This became a “recognized [business] in [the] 1990s” (Robertson, 2014). When discussing products, it is very possible that we may not have gotten the same show formats in our nation if we were unable to buy formats from others. American Idol was a hugely popular show in the US, but the format came from Eurovision in the UK. We may have eventually come up with something similar, but with this form of business we are able to gain and share ideas all over the world.
In class, we discussed some reasons localization is necessary. We decided it was needed so that people could relate to the slang, celebrities mentioned, and other cultural references expressed. One example was the US and UK versions of Shameless. Our cultures are similar, but not enough for the UK version to be popular in the US since their expression of a poor family was vastly different from what ours would be.
Here are some useful links: