Censorship isn’t at all new in China, especially since the Xi Jinping has assumed control within the state. Not even Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons is safe from Chinese censorship, as the game has been banned due to players creating and posting antigovernmental messages in-game using the game’s custom design feature. The upcoming Monster Hunter movie is the latest of these to have been banned.
The dialogue that resulted in the ban occurs during a scene in which the characters are driving through the desert. A character played by Jin Au-Yeung quips: “What kinds of knees are these? Chi-nese!” The Chinese audience have made connections to the racist rhyme that originated from the World War II period: “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees.”
The director of Monster Hunter, Paul W.S. Anderson, whose wife, Milla Jovovich stars in, has previously directed the majority of the Resident Evil film series, another adaptation of a Capcom series (that Mila also stars in). He has since apologized for the controversial line.
“I am absolutely devastated that a line from our movie, Monster Hunter, has offended some audience members in China. I apologize for any anxiety or upset that this line and its interpretation caused. Monster Hunter was made as fun entertainment and I am mortified that anything within it has caused unintentional offense. We have respectfully removed the line from the movie. It was never our intention to send a message of discrimination or disrespect to anyone. To the contrary — at its heart our movie is about unity.”
Jin has also made a statement about the dialogue that resulted in the backlash, posting a 2:55 video on Instagram addressing the issue.
China’s box office market has been steadily increasing and is considered important to movie studios in the US. The sequel to World War Z has been cancelled due to China banning movies featuring zombies or ghost. With the Monster Hunter movie banned, its worldwide box office is expected to take a hit in the long run, however it opened 5th during its opening weekend before being pulled from theatres.
Monster Hunter is releasing in theatres on December 18, 2020 in North America and January 29, 2021 in the UK. For fans of the video game series, the upcoming game for the Nintendo Switch, Monster Hunter Rise, is slated for a March 26, 2021 release.
There is also a collaboration between Monster Hunter World : Iceborne and the movie, featuring two special quests where hunters can play as Artemis, Milla Jovovich’s character from the movie.
Like what you see? Don’t forget to share our work with the buttons below! Also, be sure to follow @GamezoGG on Twitter and check out our YouTube Channel for more great content from the Gamezo Team!