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Streaming titles left to right: Dark, Lupin, Money Heist, No Man’s Land, Veneno, Kingdom, Losing Alice, and The Rain. Photo credit: Netflix, AppleTV, IFC Films, and HBO MAX

A new wave of international films is sweeping the globe. Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Apple+, and Disney+ are not only changing the way we view films, they are changing the way we see the world.

Amid all the forces that are pulling people and nations apart, it may be that only films are bringing people together. 

Once upon a time, if you wanted to see a foreign language film and get a taste of other cultures and their stories, unless you happened to live in New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco or Boston, you wound up in the smallest theater in the multiplex, or in a little art theater in a college town.

Today, at our fingertips, are films made everywhere. And rather than looking at it as an oddity, reserved only for a few cinephiles, foreign films are working their way into the mainstream of our living rooms and broadening our cultural horizons.

In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast we talk with Scott Roxborough, who reports on film, TV, and music from Europe for the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and German TV. 

Roxborough explains how the growth of Netflix and the creative destruction of streaming technology have done their job. As streaming services and the long tail of the internet have moved to supplant cable, movie theaters, broadcast television, and even English as the language of our entertainment, we are awash in films from the far corners of the globe.

Shows like Losing Alice from Israel, Lupin from France, Veneno and Money Heist from Spain, Kingdom from South Korea, and No Man’s Land, an Israeli/French/Belgian drama, are bonafide hits in the US and around the world. He reminds us that non-English-language TV and film used to be a niche proposition. Today it’s the keystone of the global film industry.  

Roxborough talks about the new economic models of the entertainment industry, the impact of the pandemic on our viewing, what happens when theaters reopen, and how broadcast television is changed forever. The streaming genie is not going back into the bottle.

The world takes its entertainment seriously, and it’s clear from this conversation with Roxborough that all of this change has broad political, economic, and international implications. What seems unique about it is that there appears to be no downside and endless opportunities for the arts and for cross-cultural pollination. 

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Jeff Schechtman: Welcome to the WhoWhatWhy Podcast. I’m your host, Jeff Schechtman. It wasn’t very long ago that to see a foreign language film, you wound up in the smallest theater in the multiplex or a little art theater somewhere in a college town, or you lived in New York or San Francisco or Boston. But like everything else, creative destruction has done its job. Streaming in the long tail of the internet has moved to supplant cable, movie theaters, broadcast television, and even the English language as the talisman of all of our entertainment. Even amidst the bifurcation and division in both the US and the world, filmed entertainment seems to be one of the few things bringing the world together. Suddenly at our fingertips is programming made everywhere, and rather than looking at it as an oddity reserved only for a few cinephiles, it’s now working its way into the mainstream of all of our living rooms.

Jeff Schechtman: Is this just a temporary blip due to COVID and the pandemic, or has global entertainment undergone a tectonic shift that both reflects and might reshape our culture? We’re going to talk about this with my guest, Scott Roxborough. Scott is an international reporter covering film and television and music. He reports on entertainment from Europe for the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and German TV, and recently wrote a seminal article for the Hollywood Reporter dealing with this subject. It is my pleasure to welcome Scott Roxborough here to the WhoWhatWhy Podcast. Scott, thanks so much for joining us.

Scott Roxborough: Yeah, of course. Glad to be here.

Jeff Schechtman: First of all, talk a little bit about the phenomenon that you’ve written about that we’re beginning to see, which is this proliferation of international programming that is suddenly showing up on people’s streaming channels everywhere in the US.

Scott Roxborough: Yeah, I’m sure a lot of people noticed it maybe even just a year or two ago, with a lot of Netflix shows and Netflix films which were non-English language showing up. I think Narcos was probably the one that really caught people’s attention a couple of years ago, a Mexican series. And since then, it hasn’t been just a handful of these non-English language films and series showing up. There’s just been hundreds, literally hundreds. And in particularly this last year, the pandemic year when everyone was in lockdown, and streaming just shot through the roof, I think, for almost everybody, we’ve just seen so many of these shows, of these films not in the English language suddenly become really global hits.

Scott Roxborough: You had a show just recently like Lupin, a French crime thriller, which was a monster hit. And there’s been films and series from everywhere, from Korea, from Japan, African shows, so many European shows, Latin America and so forth. It’s almost unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’ve been reporting out of Europe on the film and TV industry for far too long, actually, and I’ve never seen anything like this, where the shows that I’ve always been obsessed about and the films that I’ve always been obsessed about and tell everybody to go and see are actually available and being seen by audiences really worldwide.

Jeff Schechtman: And what is your sense as to the reason this shift has happened so quickly, in terms of the acceptance of these films to American and global audiences?

Scott Roxborough: Well, I think you’ve got to give Netflix a huge amount of credit here. They basically paved the way for this, both by buying and making a lot of these shows, but also really key, and this I think is a major sort of cultural shift, by doing things like dubbing. They were the first big service to dub programs into English. It’s often frowned upon in the art house circles to take a great French movie and then ruin it by splashing English dubbing over it and English voices over it. But by dubbing, I think Netflix, well, they know that this was the case because they did tests and they saw what their audiences are doing, when they started dubbing their non-English language shows into English, they found that audiences everywhere throughout the Midwest would watch these shows, initially because they didn’t know that they weren’t supposed to enjoy them.

Scott Roxborough: I remember talking to a producer for Netflix who was responsible for some of their non-English language programming. They did a Brazilian show, 3%, which is a superb science fiction dystopian series, and she remembered it was talking to a friend of hers from, I think, Ohio who said, ‘Oh yeah, I love those shows, but I don’t watch any of the foreign language ones. I love the show 3%. I think it’s great.’ That’s Brazilian, that’s in Portuguese originally, but she didn’t realize that, because she’d watched it in an English dubbed version.

Scott Roxborough: And I think it’s interesting, because what’s happening now is what used to happen outside the US with a lot of American programming, that people would see it in their own language and they would just immediately connect to whatever the stories were, and would see them as their own stories. They would see an American show, but they would see it in Spanish and think, oh yeah, those are the people I associate with. Those are the stories I like. I think that’s happening now, and a lot of it has to do with the groundbreaking work that Netflix did originally.

Jeff Schechtman: It’s interesting, because historically a lot of these international programs have been adapted, the ones that were particularly successful, adapted for American television or American movies, essentially remade entirely, Homeland perhaps being the penultimate example.

Scott Roxborough: Yeah, and of course that’s still happening. You still have a lot of those types of shows. Even someone like Bong Joon-ho, a Korean director who won the Oscar last year with Parasite, one of his films was adapted as a TV series for America and was turned into a sort of American version. That’s still happens a lot. I think that’s going to probably still keep happening. But what I find is interesting now is that people are very willing to watch, or even maybe prefer to watch, the originals. I think it has something to do with, I don’t know, with the authenticity that comes from an original story. I mean, when Homeland, when they adapted that from the Israeli original, they of course had to change a lot to make it very American. They did a very good job, and it stands on its own as its own series.

Scott Roxborough: But if you go back and look at the original versions of these shows that have been adapted, they have a certain unique character about them that comes from the cultural setting, comes from the language itself, comes from the way that people act with one another. And I think maybe people are … I don’t know. For myself personally, I think that always gives a certain authenticity to it. You can always go to a big Marvel film or big Disney movie or whatever if you want something that’s just hugely spectacular, but if you want something that’s very authentic and true to life, I think you want to go straight to the source, and that means going watching the original French film or the original Korean movie and not waiting for some usually watered down American version of it.

Jeff Schechtman: What impact has this had on international producers of these films, the fact that suddenly they’re finding this huge audience that couldn’t have been anticipated two years ago?

Scott Roxborough: It’s utterly transformational, the impact particularly on countries that weren’t used to having their films seen by anything but a tiny audience outside their home countries. Korea is a great example. Korea of course has a huge local industry, but in the last number of years, they’ve been really able to reach a global audience. But I’m also actually really interested in areas where the industry almost didn’t even exist, like a lot of countries in Africa. Now it is possible for an African filmmaker to make a very local language local story, that if it finds its way to a streaming platform like Netflix or Amazon or whatever, can reach a truly global audience. And that allows them, that gives them access, not only to that audience, but very importantly for them, to financing for their next film and their next series and so forth.

Scott Roxborough: I think, and I see this already, a lot of international filmmakers are saying, you don’t have to make a movie in order to get to Hollywood and go there and make English language films. We can stay home, make the films that we want to make, tell the stories that we want to tell in the way we want to tell them, and still reach a global audience and still have a phenomenal career.

Jeff Schechtman: What impact do you anticipate that this will have on the producers of American product who suddenly don’t have the same kind of monopoly that they did a few years ago?

Scott Roxborough: That’s really interesting. In a way, this phenomenon, it’s not really a zero sum game. The market, the audience is really growing, because people are consuming just so many more films in total. So I don’t think it’s a negative at all for American filmmakers. Before the shutdown, we saw the huge success of the huge Marvel films globally. So I don’t think it’s necessarily a negative. I think we’re still going to see big American movies that will go everywhere and that will be watched in every country of the world.

Scott Roxborough: What I do think it does, though, provide for American filmmakers is an opportunity to tell stories that might be seen, used to be seen as being niche, and to tell them in whatever way they want. You’re seeing a lot of interesting American filmmakers now that are doing films maybe set in minority language communities within America, like Farewell, which is a mainly Chinese language movie, but very American story. And I think that opens up opportunities for American filmmakers, particularly for ones from minority communities, to get stories told in a way that previously would have been rejected because they would say, oh no, we can’t sell that internationally because it’s not in English. That’s not really the case anymore, and so I see it more as an opportunity for American filmmakers as well.

Jeff Schechtman: Will this create pressure on international producers to essentially pay more to cast, to directors, et cetera, because suddenly there’s a global audience that wasn’t there before?

Scott Roxborough: Yeah. That is sort of already happening for the very top end of talent, let’s say, internationally. Omar Sy, the French actor who is the star of Lupin, he’s also a big film star, particularly in Europe, he’s in huge demand because of the show. French producers who would want to get him for their next movie or series will have to really pay top dollar. And I’ve talked to a number of producers who said specifically that. If you want the very top level talent, they become very, very expensive, because the “Netflixes” of this world, the Apples and so forth, are willing to pay a lot more than would typically be the case.

Scott Roxborough: But when you go a few levels down from that, I don’t know if it’s that much of an issue yet. It could become so, because Netflix of course has started this, and you’re seeing HBO Max and Disney and so forth come afterwards and also make local language productions. As that grows, I think we’ll see an issue with just the amount of money that local productions can afford to pay local talent. And there could be the case that, particularly as I say, the top end talent, that they’ll only be making their films and shows for these big global platforms and not for their local partners, which would have typically been the case.

Jeff Schechtman: Did the fact that we have had successful American movies made by international directors, Korean directors, Mexican directors, Spanish directors, that have won awards and been very high profile over the past several years, did that in some way set the stage for this?

Scott Roxborough: I think it did to a degree, yeah. Actually, what I find interesting about the directors that you mention, from Korea, from Mexico, what was interesting about a lot of the films that they made, also their American films, is they brought to them a different sensibility. They brought to them an international sensibility that combined elements of the Hollywood tradition in terms of big action scenes or a type of pacing and so forth, but also I would say art house sensibility that comes from a sort of international filmmaking approach. And they were able to combine those in a way that was incredibly interesting, exciting, and new also for American audiences. I think that’s why they were so successful with some of their US productions.

Scott Roxborough: And I think that type of filmmaking, which maybe could only have come from outsiders coming into the Hollywood system, prepared the US audience for a different type of storytelling. This new way of storytelling, this new form of storytelling that came from these international directors coming into the Hollywood system, that prepared the US audience for a different language of cinema, well, literally later in non-English language productions, and I’ve always thought that there is a huge audience for non-English language cinema and storytelling. I watch all these films, and they’re great movies. I tell people at home, ‘You’d love this. You’d love to see it.’

Scott Roxborough: And I think it was just a barrier. There was almost an artificial barrier that was put up by the gatekeepers, the cinemas or the television channels, that were a bit frightened of their audience, really, that didn’t think their audience was ready for this. But that fact that we had some of these international filmmakers from Mexico, from Korea who were able to make big US films that were very, very successful but had a sort of international sensibility prepared the American audience and prepared also those gatekeepers to maybe take more chances and open up their audience to the broader world of storytelling. And so I’m not necessarily surprised that it’s happened, but I would never imagine that it would happen so quickly and be so completely embraced, really, by the US.

Jeff Schechtman: Did these international filmmakers create a kind of farm team for these big American companies to make international films?

Scott Roxborough: There’s a degree of that. The big platforms are definitely looking around the world now for new talent. And as soon as some filmmaker in an African country, in Europe, in Asia, in Latin America has a success, Netflix or now Apple and Amazon will quickly jump on it and they’ll want to make more with them and so forth. What I find is interesting now, though, is in some degree that always happened, because if you had a big hit in France, for example, the studios would come running and say, ‘Oh, do you want to make a big US film or an adaptation?’ They try to put them into the Hollywood system.

Scott Roxborough: What’s happening now is a lot of these filmmakers can stay home and do the kind of productions that they want to do, just on a much larger budget and for a global audience. What I think is also happening, and I find that all very interesting, is that the platforms are no longer looking just to the US audience first, and the studios aren’t either. Their biggest markets now are outside the US. Almost all of Netflix’s growth as a company in terms of subscribers comes from outside the United States now, so they’re as interested in what Indian audiences want to watch as they are in what Texas audiences want to watch.

Scott Roxborough: So a local Indian filmmaker, even if their films or shows mainly appeal to a local Indian audience, that’s still very, very interesting for a Netflix or an Amazon. And that never used to really be the case for the big studios. What’s happening now is both these big US companies are trying to get talent from outside and get them to make their stuff for a global audience, but they’re also very carefully looking at all these international countries and saying, ‘Well, can you make stuff for your own audience? And we’ll pay you to do it.’ And that never used to happen at this level.

Jeff Schechtman: Talk about that, the impact that it’s going to have on local content as more and more of local producers in countries around the world want to have the big hit that’s going to be internationally received through Netflix or Disney or whatever. Will it have an adverse effect on local content?

Scott Roxborough: At the moment, I don’t see that many downsides to this sort of explosion in international content. It means a lot more money for producers from outside the United States and for talent and filmmakers outside the United States. And I see that as a good thing. There is a bit of distortion that is happening, because particularly in some territories which have a large local market or a large industry, a Netflix or an Apple TV comes to town and they can distort the market, because they can pay several times what would be typical for a local production.

Scott Roxborough: But what I find is interesting is that these streamers in particular aren’t looking to create some sort of American version of a film or series that they just happen to shoot in Spanish or in Korean or Bengali, they are trying to find new niches where the talents that they discover can produce their best work. So in a lot of territories, what you’re seeing is not that they’re replacing the local productions, but that they’re complementing them with stuff that, either because it would have been too expensive to make or because the local producers, local channels, or whatever weren’t interested in making it, is now getting a chance to be made.

Scott Roxborough: I’m based in Germany, and one thing that I’ve always found odd about this market is that so few genre films, a horror or a science fiction or whatever, were produced in Germany. The vast majority of German films are dramas and comedies and lots of period movies, of course. And since the “Netflixes” of the world have come to town, we’re seeing a lot more of these genre films or genre series, like a series like Dark, which is a supernatural mystery series, time travel mystery series. We’re seeing a lot of these type of shows being made.

Scott Roxborough: And I know that the local filmmakers, I know a lot of them, I talk to them, they’ve always wanted to make these types of shows in their home country with their own stories, but never got the opportunity to do so because of how the system here was set up. And I think all these new players, these global players coming into these local markets are providing the local talents with these opportunities. At the moment, I don’t see a real negative side to it, because at the moment they’re doing it differently than maybe the studios would have a few years back. They’re not trying to make everything American. They’re going to the local audiences and the local talents and saying, ‘What are your local stories that you want to tell, and how can we best support you to get you to do that?’

Jeff Schechtman: We’re talking about this in the context of these big streaming services and ultimately, perhaps, in terms of theaters. What impact do you see this having with respect to broadcast television, both in the US and broadcast television as it still exists internationally?

Scott Roxborough: Yeah, I think there’s going to be a huge change in what happens on broadcast TV, what we watch on broadcast TV. But that change has already been happening actually for quite some time. From outside the United States, there’s been a trend I’ve noticed for quite some time now that the big US shows just aren’t traveling much anymore. There’s almost no big American shows that are really on prime time around the world anymore. It just doesn’t exist anymore. The last was probably Big Bang Theory, which was very successful in many countries around the world, but that was almost the last of those type of US shows that conquered the world.

Scott Roxborough: What you’re seeing instead on broadcast TV around the world is much more separation, localization. The stuff that’s very, very popular in America is not popular elsewhere, and the stuff that’s very popular in Britain on broadcast TV is not really popular outside of Britain. Each country is sort of doing its own thing, in a lot of cases focusing on nonfictional storytelling. So game shows or reality TV shows or so forth or sports, those are still very, very popular, but tend to be very, very local. I think that’s a shift that is probably going to continue and get stronger, so that when it comes to broadcast TV, we’ll probably be watching local shows that don’t travel. And then when we go to our streaming services wherever we are, we’ll probably be watching a lot more global shows that people are watching around the world.

Jeff Schechtman: The proliferation of all of these shows now, and people watching all of these shows, to what extent is it a function of the pandemic and all the time people have had on their hands? And one wonders the degree to which this will continue post-pandemic.

Scott Roxborough: Yeah, the pandemic has definitely had a huge impact on viewing patterns, I think just on the time that we have to check out new things, obviously. I think that has had a huge impact on people finding these non-English language shows and getting into them and talking about them and so forth. But I’m not convinced that it’s going to all go away once the pandemic is over, because there’s a lot of things driving this, also from a business point of view. The big global streaming platforms, they want to expand internationally. They need to expand internationally for their financial models, and the best way to find subscribers outside the United States is to offer them local programming in their own language. That’s what Netflix has shown with their incredibly successful rollout. Disney has just said they’re going to be making a lot of local language programming for their international audience as well.

Scott Roxborough: And I think that sort of driver, just the financial business side of it, will mean that this trend won’t go away. There’s going to be a lot more non-English language films and series being made that will be then presented to an international audience. And I also don’t think that the American audience is just going to suddenly say, well, we’re tired of watching Spanish or Korean shows, we’re going to go back to just watching American stuff. I think the American audience has gotten a taste of what’s out there, and they like it. And I think they’re going to continue to try and seek it out, even when they have less time on their hands and are going out and seeing people and eating in restaurants and going to bars and so forth, hopefully very, very soon.

Jeff Schechtman: For those that are not as familiar with all these shows, talk a little bit about where they’re coming from. Some have come, as you mentioned, from Korea, from France, some from Israel. Where are the key places these shows that are finding an international audience coming from?

Scott Roxborough: In some ways, they’re coming from almost everywhere, but there are a couple of key places that because of their local industries have been very successful in capitalizing on this new global streaming boom. Israel’s an interesting one, because they have a very strong local market, and they’ve been very, very good at making shows that can quickly travel, just because of the themes they approach. A lot of thriller themes. Just the politics of Israel is so compelling that it perhaps translates very well to a global audience. Certain of the bigger territories in Europe are very interesting, Spain in particular, but also France and Germany, because they have very large local industries, so they can quickly ramp up production to another level. And they have a lot of talent here that can quite easily adapt to doing bigger budget productions.

Scott Roxborough: But I find the most interesting ones are Mexico and Korea, because those are countries that basically had a very strong local industry, but it was very focused on their local market, and developed, I think, a very specific way of telling stories. There’s whole generations of Mexican filmmakers that form almost, I don’t know, almost a club of creatives that tell stories in a certain way and have developed their own type of language around cinema. And that’s the same with Korea, definitely. These filmmakers now have an opportunity to tell the stories they’ve always wanted to tell in their very specific, unique language, but haven’t reached an international audience.

Scott Roxborough: So I find those territories some of the most interesting. I just saw that Netflix is looking to spend something like $500 million on Korean productions this year, a phenomenal amount of money. That will produce a huge amount of new shows and films. But I think because the Korean industry and Korean filmmakers had time to, in their own local hothouse, develop their own way of telling stories, their own filmmaking tradition, that they are in a great position to then take that to the world and not just copy an American style. I think the countries that have their own strong local traditions are the ones that are best positioned right now to be able to be the next big thing.

Jeff Schechtman: Is it optimistic or naive to think about all of this in the sense of creating more global understanding, global awareness, greater cross-cultural understanding?

Scott Roxborough: I never know to what degree film or TV or art in general can bring the world together or create understanding, but I know I’m hopeful. It’s great to see that American audiences or international audiences are getting pictures of the world that are not filtered through their own local biases, that come directly from the countries and from the storytellers in those places. I think that could be very important. And just on a very basic level, it’s great to hear languages other than English on American TV or on American streaming services and to know that people around the world are watching them. I don’t know if it’ll bring world peace. I think that’s probably too much to ask for a TV show or for a film, but it can’t hurt.

Jeff Schechtman: Have any of these shows, and I can’t think of any examples, I’m sure you probably can, delved into political territory that might be controversial or that might be perceived as controversial in a particular market?

Scott Roxborough: A good example of that would be Fauda, which is a phenomenal Israeli series about an Israeli agent who goes undercover in a Palestinian terrorist group, of which there are Israeli agents. It was controversial basically on all sides. Some saw it as being too pro-Israeli or too anti-Palestinian. There are plenty of people in Israel and also around the world who saw it as portraying the Islamists in too positive a light. So that courted controversy everywhere it went, and also within its own home country. And you do have a number of shows which, because of the way they treat things like sexuality or certain political issues, can be very controversial outside the country that they’re made and not inside the country.

Scott Roxborough: I know even within the United States, certain issues, say if we talk about abortion or sexuality, can be seen as being very controversial within the United States, but wouldn’t necessarily be so if they were seen here in France. So it’s an issue that you’re seeing a lot of now, particularly with these global platforms, which will make a show maybe intentionally for a local audience, say in India or in France or in Mexico, but then have to deal with the public outcry in a completely different country. That’s something that basically has never really happened before, so it’s going to be interesting to see how a lot of these platforms deal with that type of situation, where they say, well, this was meant for this local audience. They understand it. They don’t think it’s a problem. But this other audience way over here, who doesn’t really have the same context or cultural background, is incredibly offended. What do we do?

Scott Roxborough: I think it’s an interesting challenge, but I quite enjoy it, actually. Sometimes I also enjoy these types of controversies, because it then reveals our own framing and our own prejudices. Why do I think this is controversial and this isn’t? And maybe what I think is politically horrible is actually quite normal in this country. And so I think it at least crates discussion, and that’s always good around any cultural issue.

Jeff Schechtman: How do you think this will play out as theatrical comes back, as theater start to reopen again around the world?

Scott Roxborough: That’s a really good question. I’m very interested to see what happens as theaters start to reopen and movies start to come back into cinemas, if this experience that we’ve all had of being able to see films and series not in English and enjoy them at home, if that’s going to translate to us wanting to see them in theaters as well. We saw with Parasite that you could have a non-English language film that does incredibly well around the world and appeals to a big American audience as well. So I don’t think that’s going to go away, but I’m not certain, because cinemas are run differently, they are still certain type of gatekeepers, they’re still worried about getting bums on seats, that there still could be a hesitancy to not take, or what they would perceive as taking, a risk with a film from a small country somewhere in a language that American audiences aren’t used to hearing.

Scott Roxborough: I hope that isn’t the case, though. I hope that cinemas see this as an opportunity to say these shows or these films from Mexico or from Africa, from Asia, maybe they will find an audience, because people even in the Midwest, even in the smallest towns in the United States, they’re watching this stuff on Netflix. So maybe they’d be interested in paying to go to the theater and see it too. I’m hopeful. I’ve always thought that audiences are a lot smarter than most cinemas and most television channels give them credit for, and so I hope that that plays out when cinemas reopen.

Jeff Schechtman: And did the executives at American studios, and particularly at the telecom companies that now own them, did they fully understand what’s happening here, do you think?

Scott Roxborough: I think the corporate bosses at the very studios, at the platforms mainly look at numbers. They don’t really care that much about the detailed cultural underpinnings of their productions. Maybe I’m being unfair to them, but I think essentially they’re businessmen and they look at the numbers. And the interesting thing when it comes to this issue is, the numbers say make more local language production, make more specific productions that speak to the local audiences. That’s where your growth is coming from. Your growth is going to come from India, from Korea, from Africa. It’s not necessarily going to come from the United States.

Scott Roxborough: So it makes sense to focus on those local audiences and what they want. And the interesting thing is that if you do that, it seems to be the case if you do it well, that those shows, those films will also travel and will find an audience back home in the United States. So in some ways the businessmen running these companies, they don’t have to be globalists. They don’t have to be that interested in Korean or Senegalese culture. They just look at the numbers and say, we need to do this in order to hit our figures. And it’s having benefits all down the line.

Jeff Schechtman:

I guess Disney is right. It’s a small world after all.

Scott Roxborough: Definitely.

Jeff Schechtman: Scott Roxborough, I thank you so much for spending time with us. Really appreciate it.

Scott Roxborough: No, thanks so much.

Jeff Schechtman: Thank you.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from © Ajay Kumar/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire


  • Jeff Schechtman

    Jeff Schechtman’s career spans movies, radio stations and podcasts. After spending twenty-five years in the motion picture industry as a producer and executive, he immersed himself in journalism, radio, and more recently the world of podcasts. To date he has conducted over ten-thousand interviews with authors, journalists, and thought leaders. Since March of 2015, he has conducted over 315 podcasts for

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