December 24, 2019
Despite criticism by some U.S. lawmakers calling Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok a national security threat, Warner Bros. has partnered with the short-form video site to promote a new movie.
In a first for the studio and TikTok, Warner is streaming the global trailer debut for new movie, In the Heights, which fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music and lyrics with Jon M. Chu’s direction about the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York.
The film is slated for worldwide release on June 24, 2020, and in the U.S. on June 26. TikTok’s partnership with the studio represents major validation for the site’s mobile videos with hundreds of millions of users.
The trailer launched Dec. 12 on TikTok with users receiving a first-of-its-kind push notification, “Check out the new trailer for In The Heights!” driving global users across 30 countries to view the trailer.
“People around the world are going to TikTok every day to celebrate their creativity, culture and music,” Andrew Hotz, EVP of worldwide digital marketing, said in a statement. “I couldn’t think of a better platform to launch the trailer.”
Some lawmakers in Congress think otherwise. The U.S. Treasury Dept. is reportedly investigating whether TikTok censors content negative to the Chinese government.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) earlier this year sent a letter to the Treasury asking for a review of the site after he claimed it streamed scant coverage of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Other lawmakers contend TikTok — like Facebook and YouTube — is vulnerable to foreign influence akin to Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election via social media platforms.
TikTok says its content is stored in U.S.-based servers and not subject to Chinese government regulation.