Why must we shoot ourselves?

“Come on Pilgrim, you see what’s going on here don’t ya?”

Yes, I, as much as anybody, would love to see the John Wayne era return, but if you haven’t been paying attention to the “Yellowstone” fever, I think we are in trouble. I feel compelled to share some facts with you about what is really going on with this television show fever that is sweeping the country.

I still get calls regularly from every corner of the nation with the latest story of how their neighboring farm or ranch just sold to the Chinese. From Georgia to Oklahoma to Vegas and the West Coast, the Chinese are buying our resources, and I don’t think anybody even disputes that. Now it can be argued that new money into the United States economy is healthy but I happen to think this is different.

So Taylor Sheridan, who did grow up on a Texas ranch, had an idea for a screenplay that he pitched to a couple different entities in Hollywood and most sent him packing.

However, that is not what Paramount told him; Paramount jumped all over it. They reportedly offered Kevin Costner $500,000 per episode just to get everyone’s attention and that part worked very well. Interestingly enough, major media attention was given to two different Chinese firms “infusing” $1 billion into Paramount just one year before “Yellowstone” was launched. For the record, those two Chinese entities are Huahua and Shanghai Film Corp.; however, the deal was scrapped after one year, according to media reports.

Now let’s switch gears for a moment. In 2015, a New York businessman, filmmaker and investor named Thomas Tull brokered a deal with Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Wanda Group to sell Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion in cash, stock and debt. What is so interesting about this little Chinese outfit is that they just happen to own AMC theaters, which include 8,200 screens in 661 theaters in the U.S. alone. However, they have relinquished majority control, according to media reports.

Suddenly in 2021, the name “Teton Ridge” is popping up everywhere. Teton Ridge is owned by Tull. They are reportedly telling everyone that they “fell in love with the history and heritage of the Western culture.” Let’s take a quick look at their recent partnerships and acquisitions. The American Rodeo, Cowboys and Indians magazine, Better Barrel Races, AQHA, PRCA naming rights at 2021 NFR and Run for a Million. Now the Chinese own not only Hollywood but the western culture of our nation. hat must have been some great partnership right there with a feller by the name of Taylor Sheridan who is the founder of Run for a Million.

It also turns out that the most famous horse ranch in the world, 6666 Ranch, sold in 2021 to the Yellowstone Creator Group. Sheridan is the front man from the group but I see a Teton Ridge LLC corporation licensed in Weatherford, Texas, listed as a Foreign Entity that was just created in 2021 and one of the holdings listed is “tr6666”. If an organization was formed under, and the internal affairs are governed by, the laws of a jurisdiction other than Texas, the organization is a foreign entity, which can include other states in the U.S. or a foreign entity, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office.

I have another interesting factoid about Tull and Teton Ridge. He recently donated $1 million to Yellowstone Forever. This non-governmental organization claims to be improving wildlife in the natural ecosystem. If you go to their website, you will see that they have programs to improve habitat for Montana wolves and cougars. In addition, they have a goal of getting bison outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. As I read the language on their website it parallels that of the American Prairieland Reserve that has been consuming Montana land faster than a range fire.

I know the die-hard fans of “Yellowstone” are not going to pay attention but I simply want to point out that once again we are our own worst enemy. Once we head down this path, how far will we get before Americans wake up and see the truth before it’s too late.

Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the views of High Plains Journal. Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at [email protected].