‘Unforgivable’– Chinese moviegoers say they will not accept apology from ‘Monster Hunter’ director and co-star

By Chen Xi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/9 17:13:41

Poster of the film Monster Hunter Photo: Weibo

Chinese moviegoers have said they will not accept the apology from the director and one of the co-stars of the Hollywood film Monster Hunter and that they will not watch the movie even if a new edited version is released in cinemas.

The backlash toward the film remains strong in China, although director Paul W.S. Anderson and co-star Jin Au-Yeung, better known as MC Jin, issued official apologies to the public on Tuesday. 

According to a statement that Anderson sent to Deadline, he was "devastated" that the line in the movie had offended some audience members in China. 

"I apologize for any anxiety or upset that this line and its interpretation caused… 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."

Monster Hunter has been pulled from Chinese cinemas after a scene outraged Chinese netizens, who called it racist and an insult to Chinese people. 

The offending scene features an Asian-American soldier (Jin) who shouts "Look at my knees! What kind of knees are these?" After his companion turns to look, the solider says "Chinese!" while emphasizing the second syllable to make a pun.

Many moviegoers believed the joke is a reference to the rhyme "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees. Look at these!" a racist playground chant in English-speaking countries often used to mock children of Asian descent.

After raking in 33.4 million yuan ($5.19 million) on its opening day on Friday, the film earned an additional 1.18 million yuan before it was pulled from theaters on Saturday. An employee with Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan told the Global Times that box-office data for the film was removed from the platform after the film was pulled from theaters. 

Jin, a rapper as well as an actor, also issued a three-minute-long apology video through his Instagram account in which he says the situation has been "eating at my heart." 

"I've spent the last 20 years using my platform to embrace and be a positive voice for my community. I am and will always be proud of my heritage."

However, many Chinese netizens have said they are not willing to buy the apologies, and expressed that they cannot forgive their "error of principles." 

"The apologize is necessary, but still the mistake is unforgettable," one netizen commended.

"The lesson is that, as an experienced screenwriter, if you do not know how to write jokes, then don't. Otherwise, you are playing with fire and deserve to experience a tragic result," one Chinese netizen posted on Sina Weibo. 

"I won't watch it even if it's re-released, but I hope it won't affect the game," another Chinese netizen wrote on Sina Weibo. 

The Monster Hunter film is based on the popular Japanese video game series of the same name. In a message posted to Sina Weibo on Friday, the studio behind the video game emphasized that the movie and the game are produced by different companies.

Sony Pictures, the distributor of the film in the US, announced on Tuesday that the film's North American release date will move up to December 18 from December 25. No reason for the change was given. 


blog comments powered by Disqus