Paul W.S. Anderson’s upcoming film Monster Hunter was released in Chinese cinemas this past weekend on December 4th. A controversial joke in the film has been receiving huge backlash from Chinese audiences and on social media. Because of this, Chinese regulators are trying to censor the questionable scene that many viewers say insults China. The racist joke in question comes from a punchline delivered by Jin Au-Yeung’s character, in which he points to his knees and says “Chi-knees!” Many took the joke as a reference to the racist rhyming chant “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees”.
According to Screen Rant, the production company Constantin issued an apology, saying they “…sincerely apologizes to Chinese audiences for a line of dialogue contained in an early scene of Monster Hunter. 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”. The fantasy action film stars Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, T.I., and Jin Au-Yeung. Yeung is better known as MC Ji, the first Asian-American solo rapper to sign to a major label and is popular in China for his appearance on the competition show The Rap of China.
The film is loosely based on the incredibly popular video game series of the same name, and will be released in the U.S. on December 25th.