China’s film censors have taken the scissors to the latest entry in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, cutting in half Chow Yun-Fat’s role because it allegedly humiliates the Chinese people.
The Chinese star has won praise for his turn as Captain Sao Feng, but mainland censors have slashed his screen time from 20 minutes to just 10, state media reported.
The cuts were made because the role “vilifies and humiliates the Chinese,” the official Xinhua news agency said.
Xinhua did not provide specific criticisms but cited a film magazine’s description of the character — bald and scarred with long nails and a beard — as “in line with Hollywood’s old tradition of demonising the Chinese.”
The cuts were made according to the “relevant regulations on film censorship” as well as “China’s actual conditions,” film official Zhang Pimin told the agency.
Zhang said the deletions would not spoil the film but fans on sina.com, a popular website, said it was now difficult to follow the plot.
“It is such a marvellous movie but it has been changed beyond recognition,” one person wrote. “It really shocked me.”
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is the third installment in the popular Disney series starring Johnny Depp.
It is reportedly the fastest film ever to take 500 million dollars at the global box office.