Over the weekend, ‘Monster Hunter’ launched and subsequently pulled from Chinese theaters, but it does seem to be returning.
Over the weekend, German production company, Constantin Film, alongside Chinese mega-corporation, Tencent Pictures, launched ‘Monster Hunter’ to Chinese theaters. It didn’t take long for a firestorm to erupt on Chinese social media over a joke that was seen as offensive by local audiences.
The Paul WS Anderson film starred actress and Anderson’s wife, Milla Jovovich, and featured Asian-American rapper, Jin Au-Yeung. Au-Yeung played the role causing this strife where he joked around with a white soldier. “What knees are these?” he asked before responding soon after “Chi-knees.”
The subtitles, on the other hand, tell a different story with it tied to a proverb about how men don’t kneel or submit easily. Some felt this was an acknowledgment of the content while others felt it bizarre that the subtitles didn’t match the audio despite subs going in for approval ahead of time. This meant there should’ve been ample time to comb over the footage and catch the joke.
Before ‘Monster Hunter’ was pulled from Middle Kingdom cinemas, the film raked in $5.3 million. It will be returning at some point, though.
“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.”
At this current time, it isn’t clear if the joke will remain in other releases or if it will be scrapped for all releases. If that’s the case, those wanting to hear the joke will probably have to wait for it to go through an uncut release or bonus feature-laden DVD.