Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any more bizarre, Paul W.S. Anderson’s video game adaptation Monster Hunter has caused an online firestorm based on a single line of dialogue that the writer/director is no doubt regretting now. Less than 48 hours after debuting in Chinese theaters, the movie has seen all showtimes suspended and looks to have been banned altogether as a terrible joke made by one of the characters was interpreted by local audiences as a racist slur.
Of course, the country has arguably the strictest censorship board on the planet, and the vast majority of American productions aren’t even considered for a release in China, and the ones that are tend to be heavily edited, which makes it even stranger that Monster Hunter managed to get all the way to the big screen before viewers labeled it as offensive.
Now, in retaliation, both the video game series and the feature-length spin on the source material are being review bombed online, while people from all over the world have waded into the furor debating whether or not the joke in question is actually racist or not, and you can check out some of the reactions below.
Alternatively: « The new Monster Hunter film is being pulled from Chinese theaters over racist joke » https://t.co/7VY4CIf8si
— Eric Josey (@Eric_the_great7) December 6, 2020
To the Monster hunter writers who wrote that racist joke and led the movie to be banned in china I present to you the – pic.twitter.com/hhIqBxXCYc
— Karthik (@karthik_rus) December 6, 2020
Everything about these 10 seconds is wrong. Like, what does this have to do with Monster Hunter? Why is it racist? What are they driving and why?
— Mr. Fritz (@irong1027) December 6, 2020
Well, it looked like garbage, then started to look kind of acceptably like a Monster Hunter movie, then had a Felyne! – Wait, first impressions were right, its flaming racist corpus can be thrown in the dumpster. https://t.co/60KZfVGcQu
— Jason A. Clark (@talentedmrwulf) December 6, 2020
3.unless u have not humanity.
This racist rhyme is nothing but some inhuman and disgusting thoughts of production team and it has no connection with the topic of Monster Hunter, which deserves criticizing more. We are not so sensitive that can not bear joking,
— gniture (@gniture1) December 6, 2020
The funniest thing about the Monster Hunter movie is the fact people want to argue the joke isn't racist when it blatantly is if the people it's targeted at are offended. What CAN be argued is the intent but not intending to be offensive doesn't make something not offensive lol
— jasonfails to have Christmas cheer (@jasonfails) December 6, 2020
ok but it doesnt justify chinese people review bombing monster hunter world on steam with racist george floyd jokes
— slamongflobo (@_slamongflobo) December 6, 2020
You know I figured the Monster Hunter movie was gonna be bad, but I did not expect the Monster Hunter movie to be openly racist bad.
— Giancaclaus GC Vazquez (@GC_Positive) December 6, 2020
ME: even if an adaptation is bad, at least it can never hurt the original property
HOLLYWOOD: our monster hunter movie has a joke so racist that it turned people against the best entry in the franchise https://t.co/gb4vTawFD7
— Joshua MacDougall (@FreakinClever) December 6, 2020
the weird racist chinese joke in the monster hunter movie is all the more baffling because how the fuck can you even make a joke about china in a monhun film
— amuro builds a new haro ?? (@aflightybroad) December 5, 2020
So, Monster Hunter has a movie adaptation that fans of the game were predisposed to hate. When the movie included racist dialogue towards Chinese people, China pulled it from theaters. Liberal China-watchers called this 'authoritarianism', so gamers responded calling them nazis.
— linkedin.bandcamp.com (@bedbugOFFICIAL) December 5, 2020
the monster hunter movie co-produced by tencent and toho having to be pulled from chinese cinemas because they used an anti-asian racist nursery rhyme is exceptional 2020 vibes
— zzzqzzzq (@Cheap_Sunglass) December 5, 2020
Monster Hunter World getting review bombed on Steam, because the predictably shitty movie did a predictably shitty thing.
I back the people protesting against stupid, racist bullshit, but don’t take it out on the games/developers of the games.
— Jolly Ivo (@JollyIvo) December 5, 2020
Fans weren’t even particularly keen on Monster Hunter to begin with after the first trailer was roundly criticized when it initially arrived, but after losing out on the chance to earn money in the only country that’s seen the theatrical industry make any sort of resurgence over the last few months, Anderson’s latest stab at the video game genre is shaping up to be a box office bomb that will only be remembered for the offense and outrage it caused.