China never ceases to amaze the world. It has a distinct brand of racism which is decorated by hints of ignorance and naivety. It might be that the Chinese people simply do not have enough exposure to black people or the more sinister possibility: they just really hate black people and pretend to be ignorant when they are well aware. Naturally, The Black Panther was a litmus test for the Chinese. It exposed just how much blackness they could tolerate in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The country's commercial reception of the film has been nothing short of phenomenal with a $100 million haul in two weeks of release. The film is therefore fast pacing towards the global top ten of the highest grossing films but that is besides the point. The issue lies in the scathing reviews from some Chinese viewers who did not even bother try to sound politically correct.
Reviewers on Douban called out the movie for being a torture for the eyes and one said, "“When I entered the theater, a bunch of black people was fighting in the night… I’ve never been in a theater so dark that I couldn’t find my seat.” Another said, "Black Panther is black, all the major characters are black, a lot of scenes are black, the car-chasing scene is black—the blackness has really made me drowsy." Too much blackness for our Chinese friends? It seems so.
Before getting too emotional about the racist reviews, remember it is in China that a blackface skit was aired on the Spring Festival Gala to the delight of millions of viewers. It is also in China that an advert was aired in which a black man changed to an Asian after being washed in detergent. Some analysts have said China is being judged unfairly and Roberto Castillo, a lecturer in China Africa Relations is of the view that, "To equate Chinese rac(ial)ism with racism in the West is intellectually and historically dishonest. Rac(ial)ism and racial prejudice in China are still far from producing the exploitation, oppression, discrimination and murder that racist worldviews continue to produce in the West." However, Chinese racism may not be violent but that does not make it a better form of racism. There is no incarnation of racism that can be tolerated. It is the 21st century for crying out loud!