Monster Hunter’s cinematic debut has hit the wrong notes with the Chinese audience.
On December 3, Monster Hunter: World received 17 negative reviews on Steam. That’s reasonable, so we can ignore that. However, on December 4, it increased to over a thousand negative reviews, written by angry Chinese players, expressing disappointment in Capcom‘s most successful title. One review recaps it fairly nicely: „Good game, dirty racism movie.” This is why Gabe Newell’s digital platform faces many negative reviews.
Monster Hunter’s cinematic adaptation was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and it debuted on December 3 in China. Early in the film, there is a joke that the players in the country did not tolerate well, expressing their dissatisfaction on Chinese social media (not Facebook or Twitter, as those are banned in the country…). They are angry because of a rhyme that referred to a pun. (Look at my knees. What kind of knees? Chi-nese – this is the joke in the film.)
„It’s being linked to the rhyme/phrase ‘Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees – look at these?’ which is considered offensive,” Daniel Ahmad, Niko Partners’ senior analyst, said on Twitter.
This rhyme has been present for several decades, and a quick search can bring up results that showcase how many writers talk about how it is still a racist jeer. We don’t know if it was an intentional reference in the cinematic adaptation or not, but it has backfired, we can say that much.
The interesting thing is that Capcom wrote on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, that they haven’t been a producer of the film (it has been produced by Constantin Film or Tencent, China’s tech giant company), but they have been forwarding to the relevant companies. Censorship is likely to happen there, or the film will bomb in Chinese theatres.
How did this joke slip past the censors in the country, though? Still, according to this tweet, the film is essentially pulled, but as long as new copies are finished, it could still be shown in theatres.
Great writing in the Monster Hunter movie… pic.twitter.com/jTRnKOClCi
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 4, 2020
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