Actor John Boyega‘s presence in the next Star Wars film has been met with racist fans, fake boycotts and now racist advertising from China.
Earlier this month, fans took notice of the placement of John Boyega’s character Finn in Chinese advertisements. He is at the top in the American version of the ad but he’s at the bottom in the Chinese version.
Boyega is a major character in the film, so China’s decision is particularly odd. Minimizing his role is not only a disservice to him, but to the people who line up to see the film.
Chen Qiuping, who represents the Beijing Film Association, had the following to say about the backlash:
“Since the poster is merely a promotion method and an individual case, it would be unfair to criticize Chinese audiences for discriminating against the Black actor.”
This quote appeared in the state-owned newspaper, The Global Times. This is the same publication responsible for this tweet, which shows a racist caricature of the leader of the free world.
In The People’s Daily, a communist newspaper, the people of Zimbabwe are portrayed as racist stereotypes.
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) December 3, 2015
The past decade has seen China’s presence in African nations grow. As the nation becomes more of a superpower, more African resources and land have fallen into China’s hands, and the country is practicing the act of land grabbing.
China’s increased presence in Africa also means that the Black population in China has increased. Many Black residents of the country have complained that there is racism, but no one has listened.
It is clear that Black resources are fine and dandy but Black faces are a problem to China. These marketing SNAFUS may become a recurring trend as China and Asia as a whole become the largest film market in the world in 2020.