‘Star Wars’ China Poster Sparks Controversy After Shrinking John Boyega’s Character

Star Wars China Poster Controversy
Courtesy of Lucas Film

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” fans are menaced by the Chinese poster for the upcoming sci-fi epic.

The poster has sparked controversy online over stylistic changes, one of which resulted in the diminished presence of John Boyega’s lightsaber-wielding character.

Here are some tweets about the poster:

Aside from giving BB-8 more prominence, the biggest discrepancy between the two posters is the shrinking of Boyega’s Finn and the positioning of his body. Boyega, who plays a lead role, is lowered down from the original poster — where he’s the third largest character after Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley’s Rey — and tucked under Harrison Ford’s gun-toting Han Solo and Carrie Fisher’s Leia, and behind a much lager BB-8.

Meanwhile, other non-white characters, including Oscar Isaac, who plays rebel pilot Poe Dameron, Lupita Nyong’o, who plays alien pirate Maz Kanata, and Chewbacca have been cut out altogether. They’re replaced by X-wings, TIE fighters and rows of Stormtroopers.

The “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Chinese poster.
Courtesy of Lucas Film

The poster was released earlier this week along with the announcement of the film’s release date in the country. “Star Wars” hits theaters in China on Jan. 9 — about a month after its worldwide release on Dec. 18. Some of the movie’s stars are expected to attend the gala premiere in China.

The casting of a black actor, Boyega, in the role of a Stormtrooper, was initially met with backlash. “To whom it may concern … Get used to it,” Boyega said late last year about the issue.

In a similar recent incident, Lionsgate was forced to recall marketing material for “12 Years a Slave,” after posters in Italy featured Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender at the expense of star Chiwetel Ejiofor.

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  1. Dirk Blocker says:

    Chewbacca is not white?

  2. NP says:

    Oscar Isaac is most certainly white! Now you’re just grasping at straws. Hispanic is not a race.

    • YoureWrong says:

      “Oscar Isaac Hernandez was born on March 9, 1979, in Guatemala to a Cuban father and Guatemalan mother”. Latino. Not white.

      • DepthTested says:

        So we don’t have White Hispanics anymore? Or do we only have them when we want to vilify them? I’m so confused.

    • THGhost says:

      Errrm…

      • XRK says:

        He isn’t wrong by US standards. USA considers Hispanic an ethnecity, simply people in countries that have a heritage to Spain, not a race.

        It’s why you can have white-hispanics, black-hispanics, etc. They do not consider it a race though, for example there is no hispanic or latino option on the US census, just white-Caucasian, black-African, Asian, Native American-Alaskan Native, or native Hawaiian-pacific islander.

  3. Nanny Mo says:

    It is a well known fact that black actors do not inspire movie ticket sales in Asia. So you take him off the poster and hope that once the Chinese see the movie, they will be like it and have a change of opinion on black actors. Or you yell about race and nobody outside of America cares.

  4. Pietro says:

    Racism is in the eye of the beholder (yeah, it is). The chinese poster decision has nothing to do with racism – unless you think they removed Chewbecca for some racial issues.
    You are calling racist a marketing decision that you cannot understand, since you do not live in China. Every Nation has it’s own culture that is why there are different marketing strategies for different part of the world. Otherwise, who do they spend all the money if a single marketing campaign may do the job?

    I’ve read some racist rants against Italy shrinking an unknown actor (in Italy)… the problem? The actor happens to be black … RACISM!! When a big movie like The Matrix gets this poster (in Italy):
    http://pad.mymovies.it/filmclub/2001/11/033/locandina.jpg – Joe Pantoliano gets removed and Carrie-Anne Moss is not even mentioned, but she’s the co-protagonist, it must be racism against white people or as I said, racism is in the eye of the beholder.

    • Mike Taylor says:

      Racism doesn’t exist and if you recognize any, it’s always your issue?? Man, it must be nice to be able to live life with such naivete. A lot of people don’t have that privilege and to effectively approach the world, have to deal in reality. They aren’t kidding when they say denying racism is the new racism.

      BTW-The absolutest biggest character on the poster not wearing a mask is an unknown actress, so your argument makes no sense. Just because you suck at recognizing racially charged decision-making, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    • Mike Taylor says:

      Yes, the correct attitude to combat racism is to adopt a defeatist attitude and recognize nothing can be done. I’m sure that’s how any movements of progression found success-by giving up. I vaguely remember MLK mentioning something about just being content with how things are.

      Out the fact you’ve never faced discrimination some more, please.

  5. Not the race card says:

    Why does everything have to be about race? Can you prove the Chinese did this for race reasons or did they just want a different poster?

  6. ZoeTA says:

    China never had African slaves to my knowledge; I don’t think the complaint makes much sense for that reason. I know of no bigotry against people of African descent in China. My ex-girlfriend from China had never seen a black person before moving to the USA. People are discussing this as if China is the USA or is part of the western world with that awful heritage of black slavery. People in China probably wouldn’t even understand this debate. Also note that Poe, Chewbacca,and Maz are not just smaller; they are completely gone from the Chinese poster.

    • Dirk Blocker says:

      Are you serious? There is so racial bigotry against blacks in China. They, up until very recently, did not allow blacks to teach English in China.

      • Adam Hui says:

        Get your fact straight before you speak. As a Chinese, I can tell you at least a quarter of the foreign teachers here in China are black. I’ve had a number of black English teachers when I learned English.

  7. JC says:

    Nothing to see here. The original films are relatively unknown but Harrison Ford (the actor) is not. So it appears the decision was made to enlarge Ford at the expense of Boyega who is an unknown.

  8. Eli X says:

    It’s in human nature that we discriminate. Look at history, look at yourself closely, look at those around you closely and you will see. There is nothing wrong with it, with millions of year of evolution it is hard wired into our DNA to be suspicious about those who are not like us, those who don’t share our own ideology, those who hold different values, those who speak a language you don’t even understand… There is a survival benefit to band with similar so you can fight and survive the attack from the others. The earlier we accept this very basic human nature, the sooner we understand it so we can craft policy and law to minimize it.

  9. Jeigh says:

    Finally! People are seeing how racist other countries really are. It is the official position of the Chinese Communist Party, that the Chinese are their own race; superior to all others. This is taught in their schools. When approached by the world’s scientific community about teaching the factual DNA findings from the international Human Genome Project ( all genetic evidence leads to a single “Greatest Grandfather”), the party leaders laughed at them, & you won’t find much press on genetics, or biological evolution in China.
    For nearly 15 years the truth that all humanity is one; that all mankind emerged from East Africa 50-100k years ago; has been known for all the world to learn & grow from, yet things seem to get worse.

  10. Wil Adams says:

    With the American Progressives it is ALWAYS about race. Indeed they seem to be the only ones who actually SEE race. I live in the deep south and we do not have SJW (read Progressives) down here agitating, and guess what? There is none of the racial bias one sees in the so-called Progressive-Controlled places like Baltimore, Chicago and on the campuses of higher learning. Now, they want to PUSH their demented view on other peoples in other countries. I notice I did not see Disney recalling the marketing material–as 12 Years a Slave (another piece of propaganda crap) distributor did in Italy–and do you know why not? MONEY.

    • Andy Derksen says:

      Wil, I haven’t yet seen ’12 Years a Slave’. It’s based on a true account of one man’s experience, but of course that can easily be twisted for political ends. What was it about that film that you thought turned it into propaganda?

      • LightOfTruth says:

        I happen to be from the south, I happen to be from Charleston, SC. I have traveled this country and seen racism, but it is not now as bad in the south as it is in the north. As for here in SC, we see a corrupt cop shoot a black man in the back and we don’t judge the whole system. We judge the one cop. I dislike the current PotUS, but when he was elected he carried nearly the totality of the black vote, he carried a slim majority of the minority vote, but he got elected by the majority. I saw that as a sign that race relations had done well over the previous 20 years. During his Reign he has been largely responsible for destroying that progress.

      • Unimpressed says:

        Same arguments made in the mid ’60’s that led to the murders of good people trying to stop the murders and arsons against blacks at the time. Maybe you are in such deep denial you do not realize you are parroting old, proven to be factually inaccurate arguments about racism that didn’t work even back then, and still do not now. At least be hatefully original. Hateful and trite/hackneyed/unoriginal is a double downer.

      • Digital Jedi says:

        I live in the Deep South, too. Have all my life. I can say with absolute certainty that Wil’s comment is complete and utter horse pucky. What he’s describing as no “agitators” is him not living near any black people.

  11. Seth Imis says:

    And while these changes are unfortunate in how they appear (and are publicised in the press) China is a market not very familiar with Star Wars but big on sci-fi so playing up the ships, space, robots etc (in other words the more overtly sci-fi imagery – including the ranks of stormtroopers) will probably make the film appeal more widely in such a key market. Had they removed Boyega completely i think there might be a legitimate complaint here but this looks to me like a logical approach to maximising the sci-fi/space imagery of the film in a market where the franchise can’t simply rely on its brand as it can in the rest of the world and Boyega’s placing on the original poster made his character the easiest and most logical to relocate in a new design (the others are more central). It does look bad when highlighted like this but there is probably no malicious intent.

    • semioplex says:

      Its People like you who making such soft excuses that allows racism to persist. It’s billed as one of the main protagonists but of all the players on the poster he is made the smallest. Please.

    • Digital Jedi says:

      Um, China has been bootlegging Star Wars for decades. And all six movies have had Chinese debuts. The Chinese know what Star Wars is, as do most (if not all) first world nations.

      • LMR says:

        Um, no. Most mainland Chinese are not very familiar with the Star Wars franchise. A few have heard the Chinese name (星球大战) but know little else and generally have not seen any and have no idea as to the storyline & the themes therein. It will take a big marketing push indeed to make a Star Wars movie a box office hit in China and, yes, down playing the storyline in favour of the Sci-Fi tech will be a part of that campaign.

        You are correct, there has been a lot of bootlegging in China (although it has been getting more difficult lately mainly on account of Chinese websites charging when they used to provide the material free of charge) but the bootlegged materials are generally movies other than Star Wars. It’s a very different culture in China & the appeal of Star Wars just isn’t the same here. Don’t be so parochial.

        As far a racism goes, the Chinese generally don’t even understand race, at least not in the Western sense. The modern Western concept of race is a product of the particular racial ideologies that were created to satisfy the peculiar requirements of maintaining the racial hierarchies that naturally arose in colonial societies that made extensive use of African slavery. Suffice to say, East Asian nations, having never been exposed to African or other forms of race-based slavery simply do not ‘see race’ in the same fashion as Westerners do.

        There much national bigotry to be found in East Asia, strong feelings of cultural superiority also evidence themselves as well (for example, Chinese people seeing their nation as the source of culture and viewing Korean & Japanese culture as imitations of Chinese culture). But there really is no Western-style racism to be found in China. To the Chinese race really is only skin deep.

        Yes, there are certain prejudices associated with dark skin which can burden East Asians with dark skin as well as black people but these usually are not very deep-seated and are a product of an outlook very different from that found in the West (namely, dark skin is associated with spending one’s days engaging in back breaking labour under the sun, that is to say, poverty).

        Trying to shoehorn conceptions of race peculiar to the Western world in a place where the world is seen in terms of culture (that is to say, majority culture, minority cultures etc.) rather than race (majority race, minority race etc.) simply will not work.

    • The Truth says:

      It’s this simple. The international marketers of SWTFA made their decisions on the Chinese poster imagery based on market research. They showed various versions of the poster to focus groups comprised of people representative of the Chinese movie-going market, just as they do for respective audiences in every other market around the globe. The Chinese research indicated their audience is more excited about cute robots and spacecraft — which will add billions of merchandising yuan to Disney coffers — than an unknown black actor and an interstellar yeti. It’s all about marketing, not racism. To think otherwise may be understandable given the reality of racial and ethnic oppression, but major motion picture marketing is driven by data, not prejudice.

      • ZoeTA says:

        Since when are people in China known to be bigoted against Africans? It makes no sense. There was never any slavery using Africans in China; never a Civil War involving the issue; never Jim Crow laws; never ‘separate but equal’; never bans against Africans in the military serving with whites. This whole argument makes no sense at all, especially when you consider that Poe, Chewbacca, and Maz are all totally absent from the poster.

      • semioplex says:

        It is racism, are you DENSE! Are you ignoring that the white girl is an unknown as well? Why didn’t they diminish her as well? Marketing is driven by prejudice! They market to people’s prejudices. Are you that DENSE! Marketing and racism are not mutually exclusive.

      • Nic says:

        What abs explanation!
        Whoever believes this crap needs his head examined.

  12. MDBrook says:

    I hate to say it…….but the Chinese poster actually looks quite a bit better. Shrinking Boyega down and moving the Ships over made for a much more balanced poster overall. Nice editing, Chinese marketing guys.

  13. 1776blues says:

    Racism, racist, and other 20th century PC words are getting tired and old. But racism pretty much means one race believing they are superior over other races. Not liking a race is not racism. I’m pretty damn sure that not all Chinese believe they are superior. PC is used to silent people who have beliefs someone or some group criticizes or dislikes. Its a way to force people to think or speak in a way these PC advocates do. In some countries its even being written into the law. You can thank the Jews of the Frankfurt School that came to the US for PC.

    Anti-semitism is another PC word used though its been around a little longer, its also tired and old and as one Jewess said on the show Democracy Now, antisemite is a trick we use to silent the opposition. Do you know that in 17 countries it is against the law to disagree with the number of Jews killed (allegedly) in German camps and in Germany it carries a fine and 5 years in prison and your lawyer can be fined and locked up simply for defending you? Even if you republish a book by another author you are guilty. Even if what you say or write is true you cannot win your case. Since when does the alleged truth need a law to protect it? When the truth is a lie that’s when.

    You want to know why they won’t allow evidence to prove your innocence or the truth? In Canada, another anti-freedom country, Ernst Zundel was put on trial for republishing “Did Six Million Really Die” and he won and Hilberg the so-called holocaust expert was force to admit that they had no proof Jews were gassed. All we see is video ops and photo ops filmed by Jewish Hollywood producers and mainstream media photographers. Search the history of 6 million and you’ll find its been used before.

    • Digital Jedi says:

      Not liking a race is the definition of racism. That’s where the whole idea of superiority starts.

      If you’re speech was being shutdown, your reply button would have disappeared a long time ago. People saying your ideas are outdated or demonstrably false isn’t the same as being silenced.

  14. Jeffrey Myers says:

    If anyone remembers the 2009 action film, Ninja Assassin — it was directed by James McTeigue and produced by the Wachowskis, among others. The lead of the film was Korean pop singer and actor Rain (Bi Rain), who is obviously of East Asian descent.

    All it takes is a Google search of “Ninja Assassin movie poster” and you will see that the majority of the movie posters never show completely the lead actor’s (Rain’s) face. In fact, the movie posters do not display the character’s eyes. Note: The movie posters with the white background were the ones used in the US marketing. The blue background posters were the ones used in the international DVD covers.

    It seemed like a very interesting edit and/or style of movie poster. But given the history of Hollywood and its under-representation of Asian males, it seemed that the movie poster and the general marketing of the film avoided the promotion of the male Asian lead. As if the movie posters and please Google image search now — wanted to neutralize the character’s race and disassociate it from being an Asian character.

    You can argue that a certain lead character of a certain race is not marketable and that neutralizing race and aspects of their appearance is strategic. But Hollywood and the entertainment industry prides itself in diversity. And in order to do that, it means including (in Gary Oldman’s delivery in Leon: The Professional) – Everyone! Not just one specific race, but everyone.

  15. This news is trending massively on several African sites and people are calling out Chinese racism. Which is actually well known around the world. Ironically the Chinese are trying to secure further business deals across Africa and come across as racially tolerant and not neocolonial. Best of luck to PRC PR machine trying to censor this one.

    What have people of African descent ever done to Chinese people to warrant this anti black sentiment. They have never attacked, invaded, stolen, committed genocide, colonized, suppressed China or Chinese diaspora.

    • Anon says:

      (Mainland) Chinese are nationalistic and quite xenophobic. Other asians are called monkeys for example. Its not just black people, if you’re not Chinese you’re not human.

  16. Gus says:

    people with no real problems are finding things to bitch about

  17. wiles11 says:

    Beyond the inarguable fact that Asian cultures have ALWAYS seen Caucasian cultures as the ONLY ones to aspire to, the far more controversial and ultimately damning aspect of this poster is the fact that DREW STRUZAN DID NOT PAINT IT. Seriously, what the fuck, J.J.?!?

  18. Juan says:

    It’s simple, hollywood is obsessed with diversifying but in the wrong way, it adds african American characters only. If a kids show needs diversification, add a black character, if a movie needs it, add a black character, I’m hispanic and non-racist but it’s ridiculous. In america there are hispanics and Asians (middle eastern, indian and east asian) not just blacks…… So seeing this black lead is annoying. China has no black people, they don’t care for the hollywood diversification model (blacks mostly) and that’s why that character got shrunk and good!

    • The Central OP says:

      Um, Juan… Me being Black is thrilled about Boyega being one of the leads, but Oscar Isaac one of the new stars playing Poe Dameron is Guatemalan American so they actually went beyond just a black character. WhileI agree that tends to be the norm, get your facts straight and acknowledge the level of diversity in THIS FILM.

    • Digital Jedi says:

      They’re adding more than black actors. But the internet get a jones in their bones when the character is a black male. No one peeped when a hispanic actor was cast as Doc Ock. No one peeped when Leia’s stepfather turned out to be Jimmy Smits. Few said anything about the race, nationality or gender changes of characters from The Walking Dead, James Bond or Star Trek. But add a black guy, and the discussion become dominated by that fact, and people start screaming “force diversification”. Because that’s a thing, apparently.

      A few days ago, Twitter freaked out because a handful of millennials didn’t know what The Wiz was, and popped a blood vessel when they found out the cast was all black. Face it. They have a problem with all races stepping into prominent positions traditionally held by whites. But they have an even bigger, knee jerk reaction when black people, particularly black men, do it.

      • Murica! says:

        You’re either very dumb or delusional. Acoording to Hollywood there are only white and black people. There are no other races. For the last decade more and more white characters have been played by black actors. Entire movies and tv shows are being remade with an entire black cast. They don’t care about diversity. If the did they wouldn’t simply replace white actors with black actors. Where are the other races?

      • Zulgaines says:

        Don’t sit and lie, everyone is well aware that “diversity” just means add more token black men to it, even better if they’re dating a white girl. Case in point: Supergirl

      • Digital Jedi says:

        That’s clever how you say “don’t sit and lie” without actually refuting my examples and just restating your point without any actual evidence.

  19. Hey Hollywood, you want China money, they are telling you what flies and what doesn’t. Also, guess what but the rest of the world doesn’t care about black actor quota per movies. Europe is predominantly white so is Oz. Asia is predominantly Asian. They don’t care whether black actors get more or less screen time/poster time. So that’s global market reality. Also, Hollywood makes ZERO money from African countries while it makes bucketloads from Asian ones and guess what? Asians would appreciate to see more Asian faces. So instead of limiting “diversity” to “we need more black faces”, how about unlimiting diversity to more Asian, Latino, black, Desi, etc faces? Cause majority of world population aren’t black. There are over 1.2 billion Asians and over 1 billion Desis and they don’t care to see black leads. They want to see Asian and Desi ones but while waiting white leads do the trick because everyone understands that country’s majority will get majority screen time in movies. Duh. Everyone’s Desi in Bollywood movies, everyone’s Chinese in Chinese movies so they get that.

    • Tan says:

      Fact check:
      Currently, the largest markets by box office are United States, China, and Japan; and the countries with the largest number of film productions are India, Nigeria, and the United States. In the United States African Americans are the largest movie goers and TV watchers. Therefore pouring billions of dollar into to the movie and TV industry. This is why the industry has to put black actors into their movies now. The industry is following the money, and not to mention African Americans are more interested and in martial arts movies and are big followers of Japanese manga and anime.

    • Nne says:

      Hmm…so instead of supporting other minorities it’s best to just shrink or cut them all the way out simply because they’re not a minority that represents their minority yet they’re still all minorities all together. Yeah, let’s see how that change of incorporating more Asians into big time movies go about happening when they can’t even support their fellow minority brothers (African-Americans) being casted into big time roles.

  20. Does it matter? says:

    This issue of denying the obvious is WILD!! Its always the sweep it under the rug or the redirection of the same issue. RACISM!!! STAR WARS is marketable on its own merit. You don’t have to change anything to sell the movie. People are waiting for the NEXT movie even before this movie is even released.
    I choose to believe those on this post who actually live in China and KNOW what they are talking about. In Germany it was the same thing. Asians in Germany treated blacks like they were a disease.
    So believing this is due to racism is certainly not hard to believe. Not to mention all the other racist boycott Star Wars due to a black lead character. If you are not black then you don’t SEE racism cause you don’t LIVE IT. PERIOD. You only see your “Idea” of what racism is. This is typical of what they now call “Whitesplaining”. “oh its not so bad” “but what about this and that” “Oh they did this for this reason or that” And to people of color who actually live this reality everyday….ITS ALL CRAP!!!
    They see racism in ALL its forms not just the blatant ones. They see it in its subtle forms also.
    Black man enters an elevator with a white woman and she clutches her purse. And the explanation would be “Cause she was alone” or something stupid like that. But a white man entering the same elevator right behind would not receive the same response. And we all know it. This has been going on far too long to deny what is really happening.
    People of color are TIRED of it. Tired. If it were up to me I wouldn’t even let Star Wars be released in China. They play their game…we can play ours. You don’t diminish a lead character. I hope this is the best Star Wars of all time. I hope China gets a nice dose of AFRICAN in this movie. And if they don’t like it….screw em. Let em eat cake.

    • It matters says:

      Sir, you need to get a life. Reread your statements. Nonsensical, illogical, and churlish. I assume you are black, whatever color you are, you are hindering and not helping the “black” cause….

      • Nic says:

        I dont think so. Yeah, Im Black! A BIG BLACK MALE. I think he described you, and people like you just right. RACIST, BLIND ONES AT THAT.
        I dont feel shorted at all by his comment.
        Thanks for expressing this whole ordeal intellectually “it doesn’t matter”!
        Let the HATERS keep on their job. They gotta do something.

      • Nic says:

        Jaun is a little Salty!
        Blacks earned the right to be considered the measuring rod of diversity. No one one has been more opressed in this country! Go do your homework son. Never heard of a mexican or Spanish Slave in North America.

  21. As one of the people quoted in the article (@SohoGuy) I wanted to clarify why I tweeted the image. It was not intended as a big “OMG Disney are racist!” thing, I just thought it was interesting and noteworthy how vastly different and significant it was that the second lead actor was reduced in size. Moreover, given that he is a black actor, that has connotations which result from a deliberate choice on behalf of whoever was chosen to market the film.

    The idea that “Disney is racist” doesn’t hold water: the film has a lead black actor, plus other diverse casting, and this is a great advance over previous versions of the films. What has clearly happened here is that the black actor has been reduced for marketing purposes, and those purposes are obviously to do with the marketplace and there identification/response to those of black skin. It is not believable to me that a marketing team would so significantly change the size of a leading actor on a poster without knowing full well the racial connotations this conveys. The question is why know that and then do it anyway? That’s an issue that is worthy of discussion, and hurling “racist!’ at people isn’t the way of progressing it (as is pretending that there isn’t even anything to talk about, which a small number of (mostly) white males with under 100 followers have told me)

    Personally, I think that it is disappointing that this is such a clear difference, and a choice like this has been made. That to me is disappointment with humanity. But also I’m aware of the supreme bonus here: that the movie, however it is marketed, stars a lead black actor. People attending the film will see that. He’s not been airbrushed out of it. That is the end goal here.

    While I feel that what has happened here is unfortunate, I also live in the real, unfair world and know that even having him on the poster is a step forward in improving representation in it. We have a long way to go, but having discussed this endlessly with a huge number of people on Twitter (a totally unexpected result of a tweet I thought would get a few replies from my friends), I do think there is a positive here and that – hopefully – Disney and the impact of this movie around the world will begin to change things for the better.

    One thing that has come out of this for me and, I think, a lot of people, is that this matter has continued to remind white people in positions of creative or financial power that racial concerns are still here, and we have a long way to go. But so long as we embrace the message of Star Wars and work towards a better way of living our lives, I think we’re on the right track

    • semioplex says:

      Maybe the executives of Disney aren’t racist, but they are certainly supporting and encouraging racism. They are definitely placing profits over principle. And that I can’t respect.

    • Well said man….I live in Shanghai China and I’m a black guy….Disney for this moment in time is not racist….it’s the marketing in China that is racist….I have lived here in China for 10 years and the racism towards black people makes America feel like a multicultural utopia. Anyway if you guys want to know more about the crazy racism in China check out my youtube channel Loser Laowai in China. Open up your eyes. Good article Mr. Lambert.

      • Does it matter? says:

        So if you have to shrink a black man to market the movie like FREAKIN STAR WARS….instead of just letting it be, then what does that tell you. That the movie wont do as good with a person of color on the cover?? For a people that have known racism themselves to do something like this is astonishing.
        Africans should think just a bit harder before letting China do ANYTHING in their country.

  22. TS Jones says:

    In Asia there is a ‘fascination’ with all things ‘Caucasian”. I mean, seriously. They have a ‘Rent a White Guy” service in China where they have actors come to remote villages just to stand there and look important for things like ceremonial ribbon cutting, or the dedication of a new building, PURELY because they are Caucasian. Sorry but that’s the case. It WILL be the case for a long time. Other minority races don’t have the ‘mystique’ of Caucasians in the Far East…. Anyone who has been there knows this. It’s purely because of that.

    • Yep I have lived here over ten years and you are absolutely right…Black while in China sometimes feels like I am a 3rd class citizen….How they feel:

      1.Caucasian
      2.Han Chinese
      3.Blacks and Indians
      4. Japanese/Filipinos and South East Asians

  23. shd says:

    Still too big.

  24. kevin says:

    when discussing asian obsession with white skin, a chinese colleague told me, “we like black people, BUT love white people more”. what can you do? concerning… yes…but just the way a vast majority of asians see things.

  25. wenz says:

    What happened to the Asian actor in this movie?!?! Oh wait…

  26. Alex says:

    What’s with the double standards?

    No controversy over how white guy Harruson Ford’s Han Solo seemed to have shrink in the US poster?

    Get a grip. It’s a foreign film in China. It’s only understandable the more famous ones are enlarged.

    • Visor says:

      They didn’t “shrink” Harrison Ford, genius. He’s that size on the original poster. In the Chinese poster, he was made larger. Did you read the article at all, or did you just immediately start thinking up excuses?

    • Max says:

      Double standard? It was an alteration of the original poster. Han Solo was not “shrank” because there was no preceding poster to shrink him from. And how famous is the actress playing Daisy? Your post is yet another obvious attempt at minimizing the existence of racism; which ultimately has led to the super racially sensitive culture that persons like you so dread.

  27. fatsolio says:

    Chewie and another (white) character are missing but hey, that’s OK since it doesn’t fit the SJW agenda pushing media.

    I am surprised people haven’t complained how Darth Vader wears black clothing and that making black be the colour for the bad guy is racist. Who am I kidding…I am sure some people probably have complained about that.

  28. jtisonyai says:

    “‘Star Wars’ China Poster Sparks Controversy After Shrinking John Boyega’s Character” Variety, you’re better than that — It wasn’t worth mentioning that Oscar Isaac’s character was completely removed? Since every one is being so outraged about this, I will defend myself already by say he’s a Guatemalan American… Where is the outrage about his character being completely removed? If people want to complain and nitpick, you gotta be outraged about that removal as well.

    And the people that make those decisions are marketing depts that do a ton of research on their target demo to gain attention for said film. While I agree it is bs at times but that is just the way it is right now. With that said, techy, robots, laser swords and futuristic elements tend to lean more to an Asian audiences’ taste.

  29. dark passenger says:

    They wanted to make the robot bigger! You want to explain why BB-8 is REDUCED in the American poster? I think we all know machine racism when we see it! PS- There are probably more robots in China than black people and wookies combined.

  30. Shaun says:

    Who cares? We get to see more Falcon, Star Destroyer and bigger X-Wings.

    Newsflash: Not everything is about race. Get over yourselves. Blaming everything on race is part of what’s wrong with the world today.

    • Visor says:

      If only we could all be like you and downplay racism when it’s staring us in the face.

    • Ignoring racism is part of the problem what’s wrong with this world today.

    • Max says:

      Nah, sorry. Pretending like racism doesn’t exist is a far bigger issue.

      • T-Man says:

        I’ve read countless remarks in the comments section of various media outlets as of late. Somehow no matter the content manner – they somehow lead back to race. Granted racism happens to be the subject banner for this particular chain of discourse, so at least it’s justified in this instance. This still does not excuse the associated pettiness, and school-yard tic-for-tac repartee so synonymously displayed by the participants. That said there is a time and place for all things, and as important as it may be not to ignore true prejudice when at affront, racism perceived, is not always racism justified. This we should bear in mind most importantly now, giving the volatile and possibly disastrous implications that can and will arise with the debate. i’ll neither confirm nor the night the racial implications of the facts in this article, but if I could play Devils advocate – I feel it’s worth noting that Boyega and Hernandez are far from the marquee players and names they are in the states, and the decision to down size their prominence in the poster has likely more to do with them being unknowns, rather than proof-sufficient of bigotry in motion. I highly doubt a Will Smith or Denzel movie opening in China has ever been subjected to anything close to this, as they are true movie stars and perennial box office gold. And I’ve never read any articles speaking of China’s racial biases before all of this, and so I would surmise that this is more the residual sentiment of the Boyega stormtrooper backlash that anything else. So can we all please agree to consider this possibility first, and maybe even decided to accept this alternative before we engage in the collective lowering of the parameters by which we measure humanity.

  31. wiles1 says:

    Yeah, anyone think these posters will be recalled in China the way the Italian “12 Years” posters were? The sad thing is, there ARE people with the power to insist upon it — both here AND there — but none will use those powers for fear of — what? — offending some government body that probably had nothing to do with it? If you think “black lives don’t matter” in the U.S., you ain’t seen NOTHIN’ yet in China. In fact, here’s a fun test: every time you see an article in Variety, or THR, or other various LEGIT entertainment journalism outlets regarding executives from Hollywood and/or European film industries engaging with mainland Chinese counterparts on financing deals or co-productions or what have you, just TRY and count how many NON-white people the Chinese actually do business with in this arena.

    Most homogenous populations are by default racist — it can’t be helped when there isn’t even an “other” to pit yourself against — and since China’s is the biggest homogenous population on earth, you don’t have to stretch to figure out how they feel about black people, and others with different complexions (same way they felt about whites once upon a time, before they realized ’twas better to emulate them than hate them). The “black issue” may be tearing apart the U.S., but it’s a complete NON-STARTER to the mainland Chinese (less so the folks in Hong Kong, who at least had the FREEDOM to welcome people from ALL cultures for decades while China lived in it’s retarded little bubble).

    I’m no Star Wars fan — and I’m not black (for “Watson’s” information) — but this poster issue is egregious racism that needs to be stopped before it spreads to even more marketing materials and other tie-in products.

    Paraphrasing Boyega, the mainland Chinese need to start “getting used to” the fact that the populations of other countries don’t share the same physical traits the way they do, and that this very variety is what makes OUR cinema so much more superior to theirs.

  32. Watson says:

    Look at all these white people in the comments that happen to just think its not a big deal at all. Not surprising in the slightest.

    • samthepoet107 says:

      These are the same people who complain when the black CEO of Sam’s club said the buyers in her meeting were all Caucasian men and not even one woman. They call her racist.

    • jean says:

      “Look at ALL these WHITE people”. That is racist. Also, the main reason why I don’t care about people with their internet outrages and “movements”, cause they usually tend to be racist themselves, however, they hide their own hypocrisy behind intellectual justifications.

    • dan says:

      As a black man, I really don’t care about this. And I’m not surprised to see black people get worked up over this. Not surprising in the slightest.

    • dark passenger says:

      I guess you must also be outraged no Chinese people appear at all? Not surprised in the slightest either.

  33. james says:

    Big deal to me is where is luke

  34. jean says:

    Who cares, stop policing the world.

  35. SoFar says:

    nobody cares Poe Dameron is gone, faux outrage

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