The Monster Hunter movie premiered in China on December 3 only to be reportedly cancelled due to public outcry against a racist joke in the film.
Great writing in the Monster Hunter movie… pic.twitter.com/jTRnKOClCi
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 4, 2020
As Niko Partners’ Daniel Ahmad points out, the joke is a pun that plays on the phrase “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees – look at these?” which is considered offensive.
The joke in question has also resulted in Monster Hunter: World getting review bombed on Steam, with over 1,000 negative reviews popping up since the film came out.
Negative reviews for Monster Hunter World on Steam
According to Twitter user Gavin, “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 adds, however, that theaters will be able to resume showing the movie once they receive the new copies with the joke edited out.
The same source claims that Tencent Pictures is yet to respond to the situation. Capcom Asia, however, has already released a statement, even if only to say that the studio did not handle the production of the film. Capcom also said it would report the situation to the relevant film companies to look into.
The Monster Hunter movie is directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and stars Milla Jovovich, both of whom were previously involved in the movie adaption of another Capcom property, Resident Evil.