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"Did SyFy Channel Edit Out Chinese From Serenity/Firefly?" Topic

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1,502 hits since 17 Sep 2017
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2017 11:43 p.m. PST

I'm watching the 2005 Joss Whedon film Serenity right now on TV, and at first I thought they were only cutting out bits that weren't essential parts to storyline.

Then I noticed the pattern. All the bits that got cut out were the ones that contained Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese) words and phrases*. Most of the English curses were still there. But not the Chinese ones.

Does that mean that movies played on US English-language TV will continue to carry a certain amount of English curses but will be completely stripped of all colorful phrases in foreign languages? No German curses, or French or Spanish?

Or is it just those in Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese), the same way that the Chinese troops suddenly became NK troops in the remake of Red Dawn? Nah, that would be crazy conspiracy talk, right? :)
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Or is it because the actors who were uttering these words and phrases weren't exactly fluent in that language? Nah, that can't possibly be the reason, right?

So … why do YOU think the Chinese phrases were edited out of the film for TV viewing, including the ones that weren't curses?

* And, by the way, NOT all the Chinese phrases in the film were exactly curses either:
PS. And here I thought that the whole idea of an evil Sino-American Alliance was central to the entire story in the series and in the movie! The great Union of Allied Planets (the Alliance) is supposed to be a political and cultural blend composed of those two main partners.
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2017 2:42 a.m. PST

More about Joss Whedon's "Union of Allied Planets" and their insignias:


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BaldLea18 Sep 2017 9:10 a.m. PST

Probably the same reason Brits have been dropped when porting shows to America if they have broad accents. The same reason Hollywood insists on making ropey English language versions of successful foreign language films.

Zephyr118 Sep 2017 2:11 p.m. PST

I remember that the words & phrases were in the DVD's (closed captioning is great! ;-)
More likely that they are being edited out to fit in an extra commercial or ten… ;-)

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2017 3:08 p.m. PST

Zephyr1: "More likely that they are being edited out to fit in an extra commercial or ten… ;-)"

Except that in some cases the video played fine but the audio sounded like it had brief "gaps" of silence in it, where the Chinese words and phrases once used to be. That doesn't give them extra time for more commercials.


Dezmond20 Sep 2017 4:42 a.m. PST

It is entirely possibly Hollywoods new Chinese overlords didn't like what they perceived to be their portrayal in Firefly.

Which I think would be an error as IIRC everyone thought the Chinese stuff in the show was Cool and Entirely Non Threatening.

Still, whoever pays the piper calls the tune.

Earl of the North23 Sep 2017 4:11 p.m. PST

The Chinese is still there in the UK Sci Fi channel showing of Firefly, just watched a few episodes today.

I don't see why China would want the Chinese removed from Firefly, not least because it gave them a equal footing with the US in the lore and had all the characters falling back into Chinese when startled showed that the Chinese language was just as import in the Verse even if we mainly dealt with the English speaking people.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2017 10:58 p.m. PST

Then there's something definitely weird about the version I was watching here.


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