The China Film Administration (CFA) has ordered a second review of the censorship of previously approved films after a racism scandal caused the video game adaptation “Monster Hunters” to be removed from theaters, according to a Thursday report from the Hollywood Reporter.
A 10-second scene in the film showed Asian-American actor MC Jin referring to his knees as “Chi-nese,” an apparent reference to the racist playground rhyme used to insult Americans. Asian origin.
“Monster Hunters”, along with Milla Jovovich, were expected to do well in China. It is based on a hugely popular Capcom video game in the country, and other video game adaptations such as “Resident Evil,” also starring Jovovich, have seen great success in China.
Exclusive: China tightens censorship after racist ‘Monster Hunt’ joke scandal, country’s censorship delays release of hit Japanese anime #DemonSlayer https://t.co/Nnqkckx1CC pic.twitter.com/YZppxRyej7
– The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 17, 2020
After the controversy caused by the film, sources in Beijing told The Hollywood Reporter that the CFA had stepped up its censorship process.
The outlet notes that the biggest film affected by this change is the Japanese “Demon Slayer,” which has already earned nearly $ 300 million worldwide and is slated to be a blockbuster in China.
The film shouldn’t have a hard time passing a second round of review, the reporter notes, but the process is likely to delay its release for at least a month. Chinese regulators do not allow foreign films to open during the Chinese New Year holiday period, which means “Demon Slayer” may have to wait until February to release.
High-quality pirated copies will likely be available by then, so the film’s overall revenue could be severely affected by this change in schedule.
The reporter notes that Beijing’s censorship had started to rise to levels not seen even before the controversy sparked by “Monster Hunter”, with Chinese filmmakers having to republish their recent works due to sudden changes in censorship.