Is the Chinese Star Wars Poster Racist?

By Matthew Bossons, December 7, 2015

3 0

Is the Chinese version of the new Star Wars poster racist? Yes, according to the social media world (the title is a bit of a trick question).

If you take a close look at the above posters (the one on the left is the UK poster, the one on the right the Chinese version) you’ll notice a major difference in relation to the size of the film’s main protagonist.

The poster comparison received worldwide attention yesterday after one fan pointed out a glaring – and startlingly obvious – modification, actor John Boyega’s character had been shrunken to the size of a half-eaten dumpling. That’s right, the main character has been downgraded, it’s not a cruel Photoshop trick and you’re (probably) not high on LSD.

Although it has been a year since the Sony hack publicized an unnamed producer stating his belief international Hollywood audiences are racist, the story again gains relevance with the new The Force Awakens poster. It can certainly be argued Disney’s promotion of the upcoming Star Wars film has a color-bias. Are the two things linked and is Disney selling out on a cynical level that goes against the core values they profess to promote?

The difference in size, between the two posters, is undeniable and has led to accusations that Disney’s China office is trying to downplay the role of the character (a pretty serious accusation if you ask us). As always, Twitter reacted:

Twitter reacts to Star Wars removing Black Actor

It turns out, according to Entertainment Weekly, that this is not the first time a Hollywood marketing campaign has 'whitewashed' a character. A 2013 Italian marketing drive for the film 12 Years a Slave allegedly chose to highlight secondary characters, played by Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, over the film’s black star - Chiwetel Ejiofor.

There are also several other minor (and less controversial) differences between the posters, including the removal of Chewbacca and the size of the stormtrooper army featured at the bottom of the image.

There is no suggestion by That's that any promotional material was changed for anything other aesthetic reasons.

[Images via Entertainment Weekly

more news

New COVID-19 Cases Reported Across Chinese Mainland

In recent days, cases have been reported in Shanghai, Tianjin, Anhui and Yunnan.

Chinese Internet Reacts to 2020 US Presidential Election

The election has been heavily trending on Chinese social media this weekend.

Star Wars' John Boyega Cut from Chinese Version of Jo Malone Ad

The actor was not given a headsup that the ad he directed and starred in would be recast despite being the global Jo Malone ambassador.

Singapore Lifts Quarantine Restrictions on Visitors from Chinese Mainland

More countries are loosening restrictions on visitors from China.

Hong Kong Exempts Quarantine for Residents on the Chinese Mainland

Hong Kong residents on the mainland may freely travel back to Hong Kong starting next month.

7 Chinese Winners in Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020

Who made the grade at the annual competition?

Chinese Condom Maker Called Out for Sexist Ad

Chinese condom maker Jissbon removes offensive ad campaign an hour after posting...

Former EF Teacher Guilty of Sexually Exploiting Chinese Student

The 47-year-old man faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives