Men in Black 3's Chinese Villains Neuralyzed By China's Censors
It's no secret that Chinese censors are tough nuts to crack when it comes to Hollywood imports like Men in Black 3. And, sure — those scenes of aliens with reptilian tongues disguised as Chinatown restaurant workers serving up contraband foodstuffs played on easy jokes, and were reportedly excised from the Chinese release. But was there something more subtle and subversive at play when Agent J "neuralized" a crowd of innocent Chinatown bystanders?
Per the Telegraph, Men in Black 3's Chinatown scenes were the focus of China's censors, who took pains to cut out moments from the film that painted people of Chinese ancestry — well, aliens posing as Asians working in a Chinese restaurant, at least — in a negative light. Reports vary on just how much was cut out, with The Telegraph citing 13 minutes of edited footage.
Sure, whatever. Take out the seemingly villainous Chinese folks. More interesting is the speculation surrounding why a scene depicting Smith mind-wiping a group of civilians right after his Chinatown brawl might have been removed.
"This could have been a hint on the use of internet censorship to maintain social stability," commented China's Southern Daily newspaper (via The Telegraph).
Censoring the MIB neuralizer from audiences because it's a form of insidious government mind control? Hilariously ironic. I'd like to think Barry Sonnenfeld and Smith and Co. had this kind of subversive agenda in mind, but YEAH RIGHT. All I want to know is, how can I neuralyze that hideous Pitbull song from my brain?