In the last 48 hours Monster Hunter: World has received over 2000 negative reviews on Steam after a racist joke in the Monster Hunter film has led to a backlash in China and calls to ban the film.
Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at Niko Partners, tweeted a clip from the Monster Hunter film yesterday showing the racist joke in question.
Great writing in the Monster Hunter movie… pic.twitter.com/jTRnKOClCi
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 4, 2020
In the clip from the film, which was released this week in China, a soldier yells to another soldier: “What are my knees? What kind of knees are these? Chi-knees.” Many in China connected this joke to an old racist saying, as pointed out by Ahmad. This has led to widespread anger and backlash to the film.
As reported by Variety, the movie has since been pulled from most theatres in China. According to some reports, it appears an edited version of the film removing this joke may also be banned in China, effectively stopping the Paul W. S Anderson directed adaption from appearing in the country.
Capcom released a statement yesterday night distancing themselves from the film, with the company also claiming to be contacting the proper film companies and producers about the joke. However, many found this statement hollow as Capcom just recently revealed a Monster Hunter: World tie-in with the film, with Milla Jovovich’s character from the movie appearing as a playable character voiced by the actress.
All of this has led to Monster Hunter: World on Steam being reviewed bombed, with many recent negative reviews directly referencing the movie’s offensive joke. A lot of reviews reference some other racist shit. It’s a giant shit show that is only getting worse.
What’s odd is that Monster Hunter, the film, was vetted like by Chinese officials, like all other films, TV shows, and games. Yet this joke still slipped through. As pointed out by Ahmad, the subtitles and the English dialogue don’t match, with the subtitles referencing a Chinese idiom about men kneeling. This has only added to the controversy, with some viewers believing this was a direct insult to Chinese viewers.
Monster Hunter is planned to release on January 1, 2021 in Australia.