The Monster Hunter movie premiere in China has reportedly been cancelled due to backlash over a racist joke about the Chinese in the movie, however, the film will still be able to show in the country as long with the joke edited out. This is especially notable because not only is China the movie's biggest market, but it's a market director Paul W. S. Anderson has particularly found success with in the past. The scene has also led to Monster Hunter World getting review bombed on Steam, with over 1,000 negative reviews flooding in as a result of the movie. Steam will eventually remove these reviews, but for now, the movie's scene isn't just hurting it, but the entire IP.
While the new Monster Hunter movie doesn't premiere in the United Kingdom and the United States until later this month, it already began premiering in China as of December 3, however, this premiere has been cut short and showtimes will remain cancelled until the scene is fixed.
For now, the movie being pulled in China has not been confirmed, but multiple sources are reporting the news.
Breaking: All showtimes of Monster Hunter are being cancelled in China. Theaters exhibitors got notification in midnight without clearly reason, but industry believe it's because a racist joke about Chinese after audience reflected on social media.— Gavin (@gavinfeng97) December 4, 2020
As for the racist joke, it's a pun that plays on an old rhyme that's been around for decades: "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees - look at these." The rhyme is considered offensive and racist by many, hence the backlash.
Great writing in the Monster Hunter movie... pic.twitter.com/jTRnKOClCi— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 4, 2020
Anyway, this is going down about as well as you'd expect in China where it's being linked to the rhyme / phrase "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees - look at these?" which is considered offensive. pic.twitter.com/pQCFNQ86Je— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 4, 2020
What's strange about the situation is that it's unclear how this made it past the vetting process all movies go through before releasing in China. Whatever the case, Capcom has since issued a statement, noting its lack of involvement in the movie and that it would investigate the problem.
Capcom has issued a statement on social media due to the backlash, stating that it is aware of the situation and the controversy. That it is not the producer on the MH movie and that it will report the situation to the relevant film companies to investigate. pic.twitter.com/KxMWP6H69I— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 4, 2020