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China Censors Pirates of the Caribbean

The Chinese government has edited out many of Chow Yun-Fat's scenes from this summer's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End for the "vilifying and defacing [of] the Chinese." Deciding the scenes were bolstering age-old demonizing stereotypes, censors "sliced Chow's screen time down to about 10 minutes."

Though I'm not sure editing out the scenes that include Chow Yun-Fat is helpful, I must say I can easily understand the anger surrounding the depiction of the Chinese in the movie as utterly cruel and conniving, something I also took issue with upon watching the movie. It perplexes me that filmmakers are still able to portray Asians in this way. To me, it is another example of Hollywood portraying Asian characters as one-dimensional stereotypes, such as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's or Sixteen Candles' Long Duk Dong, roles that are now largely considered embarrassingly offensive.

And yes, I know other characters are also portrayed as villainous or cruel (I realize not just the Asian characters are pirates), but the point is not to be equal-opportunity with making other characters in the movie villainous, but rather that filmmakers don't seem to be evolving in their sensitivity to the issue.

I do, however, feel sorry for audiences in China because apparently this cut-up version makes the movie even more confusing that it originally was!

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