Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich launched their Monster Hunter movie in China this week, but instead of delighting fans of Capcom’s popular action-RPG franchise, all they did was piss a bunch of people off. As game industry analyst Daniel Ahmad reports (via Eurogamer), the writers decided to slip in a reference to a racist chant targeting Asians, which did not go unnoticed by Chinese audiences.
“What are my knees? What kind of knees are these? Chi-knees,” a soldier jokingly says at one point in the film. Critics say that this is a clear reference to “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees,” which, according to Wikipedia, is a “racist playground chant in English-speaking countries used to mock children of Asian origin.”
Great writing in the Monster Hunter movie… pic.twitter.com/jTRnKOClCi— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 4, 2020
Capcom Asia has issued a statement attempting to distance themselves from the movie, but that hasn’t stopped Chinese gamers from review-bombing the franchise’s latest installment, Monster Hunter: World, on Steam as a means of airing their grievances about the live-action film. It also doesn’t help that Capcom already pledged their support for the movie by putting Milla Jovovich’s Artemis as a playable character in the game (she even provided voice work).
Monster Hunter is now being pulled from theaters in China, but contrary to earlier rumors about a revised cut, Variety is reporting that the movie may be banned entirely and not return to Chinese cinemas at all.
“[…] on Saturday morning local time, new leaked directives that Variety has not yet directly confirmed said that distribution of the DCP copies for the new version has also been suspended — indicating that the release of even a censored version is effectively halted,” the website reported.
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
Movie theaters in China have been instructed to pull the movie today and major ticket booking sites have delisted it already.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 5, 2020
Currently it is unknown if the film will make a return with the offending scene cut out. https://t.co/uDetGJcqCB