Legendary Star Wars creator George Lucas says the United States is a provincial country with a culture that has invaded the world via Hollywood.
Lucas made the comments today as he was honoured with a Global Vision Award by the World Affairs Council in a San Francisco hotel ballroom.
"As long as there has been a talking Hollywood, Hollywood has had a huge impact on the rest of the world," Lucas said as he discussed his films and enhancing education with computer technology.
"It shows all the morality we espouse in this country, good and bad. The French were the first to start yelling cultural imperialism."
Some people in other countries are troubled by what they see as US culture "squashing" local art and cinema, Lucas said.
"I hate to say it, but television is one of the most popular exports," Lucas said.
People see shows such as Dallas, about a wealthy Texas oil family, and decide they want the grand lifestyles portrayed, according to Lucas.
"They say that is what I want to be," Lucas said. "That destabilises a lot of the world.
"There has been a conflict going on for thousands of years between the haves and the have-nots, and now we are in a position for the first time to show the have-nots what they do not have."
Lucas endorsed US students studying abroad to help imbue them with more global perspectives.
"Study abroad is extremely important; just for kids to get outside this country and experience the fact there is a big world out there," Lucas said.
"We are a provincial country. Our president has barely been out of the country."
An onus is on filmmakers to be careful with the messages they send because they speak "with a very loud voice", the famed movie director said.
California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi presented Lucas his council award, likening him to renowned classical music composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The council crowned Lucas "the father of digital film" with profound insights into the globalisation of culture.
"Like Mozart, George Lucas is no ordinary genius," Pelosi said. "He is a magician. He will be remembered as a legend."SMH.com