China has censored part of the latest installment of hit Hollywood movie "Pirates of the Caribbean" for "vilifying and defacing the Chinese", the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday.
Chow Yun-Fat, the Hong Kong star, plays the pirate lord Captain Sao Feng, but his role seems to demean the Chinese in general, so bulk of his part had been slashed in half to just 10 minutes of screen time.
The censorship report said:
"The captain played by Chow is bald, his face heavily scarred. He also has a long beard and long nails, whose image is still in line with Hollywood's old tradition of demonizing the Chinese."
Chinese censors also cut Chow’s line in which he says “Welcome to Singapore” implying that Singapore is a land of pirates.
Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang Pimin, deputy head of the film bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, as saying the cuts had been made based on China film censorship rules and regulations.
Zhang said despite these censorship cuts, the movie will not affect the continuity of the plot or the image of the characters.
Despite this censorship, Pirates of Caribbean 3 has fared well in Chinese box office. According to Xinhua, it has grossed 1.18 million Yuan (about $154,900 dollars or 78,550 British pounds or $165,000 Canadian dollars) on its first day in Shanghai alone.
This is not the first time a Hollywood film has angered the Chinese censor.
Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning "The Departed" ran into trouble due to its mention of a Chinese plan to buy military equipment, government sources told Reuters earlier this year.
Reuters says despite censorship in China, many movies are sold via piracy, uncut versions of the latest movies for around $1.
I hope Hollywood shows some restraint in demeaning other cultures; they have to remember that other cultures are also watching Hollywood movies in large numbers.