Censors in China have reportedly cut more than three minutes of footage from summer blockbuster Men In Black 3 because they didn’t like the way scenes shot in New York’s Chinatown portrayed Asians.
The sequel opened to critical and commercial acclaim in China at the weekend (25-27May12), but now local media outlets report parts of the film shown in the U.S. and Europe have been cut from Chinese movie theatres.
One large edit comes as Will Smith’s Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K and evil aliens disguised as workers in a Chinese restaurant in New York, and another features Smith’s character “neuralyzing” a group of Chinese bystanders who witness the gunfight.
Reasons for the cuts have not been revealed.
The Los Angeles Times reports Sony executives learned of the Chinese government’s objections after the film had been completed.
Chinese theatre owners are advised to be careful when it comes to showing U.S. movies that feature scenes considered dismissive or critical of Chinese culture.
According to the Times, scenes in Mission: Impossible 3 featuring laundry hanging in Shanghai was removed before the film opened in China and actor Chow Yun-fat’s portrayal of a villain in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End were edited out of the film Chinese moviegoers saw.