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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!

Join The Conversation
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 10 years
I think that each of the characters in the movie is portrayed as dirty. In every culture, there are bad people. They showed pirates from France, Africa, other Asian countries, etc., etc., etc. Chow's character got more screen time, but just because one group of characters from a certain area is portrayed one way doesn't mean that they're suggesting that everyone from that country is that way. And also, I don't want to start any fights, but think of all the movies in which every single multi-cultural white person is portrayed even more horribly. I'm not saying that rascist undertones arent in some movies (I lvoe the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, but Yunioshi's character, though at the time he was just a normal character, did disgust me) but I all I see here is a huge over-reaction, as if they're trying to find something where something isn't. Whew long comment!
junebrug junebrug 10 years
Admittedly Breakfast at Tiffany's, while a great film, is clearly racist. I don't agree that Pirates is however. He was not protrayed as any more evil conniving than any of the other characters, in fact that was a major point of the film, every character is a betrayer to every other character. The British Royal Navy are potrayed as the biggest pinheads of all. Is Great Britian going to sue us now? The politically correct thing can be taken too far. I think they're being super sensitive. If you can't portray any person in a story as a villian, it's impossible to write a script.
blu-angeliq blu-angeliq 10 years
I know many will oppose the Chinese decision to bar scenes like these, but they are understandable. I also believe it's fair to say that several races were put into examination in the film, in particular, a ridiculously acted Indian pirate master. I don't think they purposely made Yun-Fats character to be a bad stereotype, but depict an odd, villanous pirate. Yet, I completely understand the offense the Chinese felt. As a young afro-canadian woman, many movies and cartoons become mine fields when I watch them. I will never be able to watch Looney Toons the way a caucasian person would, knowing that most of there animation has been historically racist, and even though changes are made, there is that lingering sense of hurt. I believe the arts must take the first step towards ridding stereotypes in their works. It is up to the people, and I say this as an artist myself, to change the accepted views of certain groups. I mean as women, we wouldn't tolerate mysogynic characters, well sadly we sometimes do! All I'm saying is, although we cannot hide and censor everything, because i personally believe that it does as much harm as good, we need to be aware that we share a world of many diffeences and similarites. All races, colours, and faces are beuitul, and they come along with heritage. They should have respect.
pinkflats pinkflats 10 years
DCSTAR I agreee. Breakfast at Tiffany's was a movie that I loved growing up but hearing about the stereotypes of Mr. Yunioshi turns me off. Oh Hollywood you guys really need to travel more outside America so to see for yourself that not all Asians are what you think they are. Studios should start watching Asian films made by Asian directors/writers filmed in Asia. And believe me when I say you will be blown away and rethink about the so-called talented writers/directors/actors/etc. you have.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
This is yet another reason I haven't gone to see this flick. Yikes.
CatarinaBella521 CatarinaBella521 10 years
wow I remember there was a big to do over the Star Wars Phantom Menace b/c the Trade Federation had Japanese Accents as well
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
eh, the chinese audiences didn't miss much. this movie was awful. simply awful. i've always thought it was really messed up how all asian actors and actresses in hollywood have to be good at some form of martial arts. the women are expected to play the coy, gentle submissive princess or the sexy cruel dragon lady.
menthadict menthadict 10 years
I still haven't watched the movie yet (nobody will go with me!) but I respect China's decision. I, as a Chinese girl, am still shocked by the way the media portrays asians. It's bad enough that Asians barely have a chance in the entertainment industry, but when they do they ahve to portray archaic stereotypes
natakie16 natakie16 10 years
I wasn't too thrilled about it either. I was also extremely annoyed by the fact that the only 2 people that are *graphically* killed in the entire movie are the 2 Asian women. Everyone else is "disney-killed". That really ruined it for me, so I just paid attention when Johnny was on screen :)
DCStar DCStar 10 years
I recently tried to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's and I was so horrified by the Mr. Yunioshi character, I couldn't bear to watch any more. Consider, this used to be one of my favorite movies that I hadn't seen in awhile. I guess when you're young those racist portrayals don't really hit you or make any sense.
krampalicious krampalicious 10 years
chow yun fat's immense talent was utterly wasted on this worthless film, and i'm glad somebody finally realized it, even it was censors. i do not understand the appeal of these movies anymore--they just keep getting worse, and this one was not only disturbingly racist but also flagrantly misogynist. i'll be boycotting them from here on out, but i'm sure i'll be the only one.
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