How China’s Insensitivity Toward Black Representation in Hollywood Is Growing

Iris, a Chinese online film review magazine well known among cinephiles, recently published a full translation of IndieWire’s exclusive interview with documentarian Stanley Nelson on the George Floyd protests.

The Chinese version, with a drastically different headline and multiple translation errors, is one of many examples of how social justice — especially racial justice — movements are misconstrued among the Chinese audience.The IndieWire interview, in which Nelson discussed the nuances and complexity of African American movements as well as the importance of black filmmakers telling their own stories, was placed under a Chinese headline: “The African American Director Who Knows Black People The Most, Does Not Approve This Movement” (最懂黑人的非裔导演,却不支持这场运动).The title is both misleading and dangerous.

Nelson, who built his career capturing African American experience, exposing and challenging structural racism, later went on PBS commending protestors’ efforts.

The misinterpretation of Nelson’s reflection on the protests goes beyond the headlines.

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