Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Monster Hunter has gotten a lot of attention in the last few days – and not the good kind. The action film opened in China last weekend and ended up being pulled from theaters due to backlash over a racist joke. Now, Anderson and co-star Jin Au-Yeung – who says the joke in the film – have issued an apology. Meanwhile, plans for the movie’s domestic release have changed – instead of opening in theaters on Christmas Day as previously announced, Monster Hunter will now arrive earlier, on December 18. And just in case you’re not sick of Monster Hunter at this point, there’s a new clip, too.
Monster Hunter opened in China over the weekend, and things didn’t go so well. The film features a joke in which a character played by Jin Au-Yeung, aka Asian-American rapper MC Jin, says: “Look at my knees! What kind of knees are these? Chi-knees!” It’s a tasteless, dumb joke, but, according to Variety, the line was made even worse due to the way it was translated:
This interpretation was subtly propelled forward by the Chinese subtitles. To localize the joke, translators made the dialogue a reference to a Chinese colloquialism about how men must have dignity and not kneel down easily. “Men have gold under their knees, and only kneel to the heavens and their mother,” the saying goes in rough translation, implying that any time a man kneels, it should be an occasion precious as gold….The inference of a connection to the racist rhyme from the words “knees” and “Chinese” combined with the subtitles’ phrasing about kneeling down appears to have made many patriotic young viewers believe that the moment in English must be an obvious insult. Worse, many feel that the translation — which swaps in references to “gold” and makes no mention of “Chinese” — was a deliberate cover up of the offense.
As a result, the movie was pulled from Chinese theaters. Now, director Paul W.S. Anderson and actor Jin Au-Yeung have both issued apologies. Per Deadline, Anderson said:
“I am absolutely devastated that a line from our movie, Monster Hunter, has offended some audience members in China. I apologize for any anxiety or upset that this line and its interpretation caused. Monster Hunter was made as fun entertainment and I am mortified that anything within it has caused unintentional offense. 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.”
While Jin added (via Instagram video):
“I felt a need to address this situation because what is at stake is not my career but something even more dear to my heart — my roots. 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.”
Meanwhile, here in America, Sony has changed the release date for Monster Hunter yet again. The movie was originally slated to open in September of 2020, but that changed due to the coronavirus. The next release date announced was in April 2021, but then, oddly enough, the film moved back to 2020. December 30, 2020, to be exact. It moved one more time – to Christmas Day. And now Sony has announced that Monster Hunter will open in theaters and IMAX on December 18, 2020. Whether or not people want to take a risk and go see it in the few theaters that are currently open is another story. For now, you can check out a new Monster Hunter clip below.
Monster Hunter Clip
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