A few weeks ago we were thinking about Chinese censorship of American movies, wondering if the practice will increase as China's movie market opens up, and now today we hear word of the latest example of government meddling. The Chinese censors have gotten to Men in Black 3, a big hit in the movie-mad nation, possibly because they were concerned about perceived references to... censorship.
See, there's a scene in the movie that takes place in Chinatown — a restaurant alien shootout — at the end of which a bunch of locals get Neuralyzed, meaning their memories are wiped. A Chinese newspaper is now speculating that the scene was cut because it was viewed as a commentary on China's censoring of the internet. So how to handle a scene that possibly makes a statement about censorship? Censor that mother!
It's unclear exactly how much of the movie was cut out, but it seems to be between three and thirteen minutes. We've seen the decidedly uncontroversial Men in Black 3 and divined no messages about censorship, or anything to do with the Chinese government, from the film, but maybe we're just not sensitive to the subject. We suppose it makes sense that if you're doing a lot of censoring, you might start thinking that people are saying things about all your censoring.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.