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Monster Hunter pulled from Chinese cinemas over racial slur

Joe Anderton
·2 min read

From Digital Spy

Monster Hunter, the latest video game adaptation, has been pulled from cinemas in China over a racial slur.

A scene in the movie sees a white character and an Asian character share a joke about 'chi-knees', referring to a racist playground chant. The subtitles tried to change the meaning of the scene, but it nevertheless caused outrage from viewers.

The scene was uploaded to Chinese social media from a phone recording, leading to a large backlash, with the film receiving many critical reviews, according to Variety.

Photo credit: Sony Pictures
Photo credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Monster Hunter star Milla Jovovich welcomes her third child

Cinemas were instructed to cancel all showings of the film and refund any tickets that had already been sold. A version with the moment edited out was set to be implemented instead, but that seems to have been halted.

The Asian division of Capcom, the game publisher and developer who make the Monster Hunter games, distanced themselves from the controversy through a statement on Weibo, stating that they had no input in the making of the film.

Producers Constantin Film have apologised for the scene in question in a statement to Deadline:

"There was absolutely no intent to discriminate, insult or otherwise offend anyone of Chinese heritage. Constantin Film has listened to the concerns expressed by Chinese audiences and removed the line that has led to this inadvertent misunderstanding."

Photo credit: Sony Pictures
Photo credit: Sony Pictures

Tencent Pictures, who co-produced the film, declined to comment, as did Sony, which distributes Monster Hunter in other territories, but was not involved in its China release.

It's not yet clear if the removal of the scene will result in Monster Hunter being re-released in Chinese cinemas, or if the scene will be taken out of the movie in the version that is released in other countries.

The film, directed by Mortal K0mbat and Resident Evil helmer Paul W S Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich, was intended to be released yesterday (December 4) but has been pushed back until 2021.

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