May 6, 2022 · less than 3 min read
The Statue of Liberty’s appearance in the latest Spiderman film has been a point of tension between the Chinese government and Sony Pictures.
Statue of limitations
Doesn’t everyone love a patriot? No, according to the Chinese government. As far as China is concerned, Lady Liberty was an unwelcome inclusion in Spiderman: No Way Home, but the request to have it scrubbed has been slapped with a big, fat ‘nope’ from Sony Pictures.
Tensions have been bubbling for some time between China and Hollywood. And the latter has in fact come under some criticism for bending to China’s censorship demands of late, amending big sections of films to meet its own authoritarian narrative. Fight Club is a great example; the altered Chinese ending removes the chaotic finale of blowing up buildings, instead replacing it with a note to viewers that the police figured it all out, arrested Brad Pitt’s character, and threw him in an asylum. That’s Brad Pitt’s character, who is literally not a real person in the original. Right.
Does whatever a Spiderman does
The latest out-there request from the Chinese government is hardly a final footnote, though. The Statue of Liberty features for much of the film’s conclusion, including one of the film’s most important scenes (no spoilers here), so scrubbing it would cost millions.
Sure, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous symbols of American patriotism. But isn’t that sort of the point of the majority of Hollywood superhero films? Ever heard of Captain America?
Of course, maintaining international relations is a fine art – but so is Tom Holland scampering around America’s most iconic landmarks. So, we might have to side with Sony on this one.
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