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China Edits ‘Fight Club’ And Completely Changes Its Meaning

The movie Fight Club is memorable for many reasons, one of which is its stark ending. Faced with the damage he wrought and the mayhem he inspired, The Narrator watches with his newfound love as buildings explode around him, signifying his detachment from consumerism, self-loathing, and loneliness.

Here’s the original ending:

Well, that isn’t the ending Chinese viewers got on streaming platform Tencent Video. Instead, they got a “happy” ending.

And by “happy,” I mean one sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party not to encourage disruptive behavior. 

Changing The Movie’s Whole Point

This fundamentally changes the movie’s whole point, which is that despite his delusions, The Narrator finds self-acceptance and destroys the system around him.

Now is it a metaphor for breaking free of the bonds of mental illness or the individual’s triumph over capitalism?

Director David Fincher left that up for the audience to decide.

However, China does not want its audience to know [4] that it is acceptable to rebel against the system.

From DailyMail:

In the censored version released in China, The Narrator still kills off Durden, but the exploding buildings scene is replaced with a written message on black screen: ‘The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.’

It then adds that Tyler – a figment of The Narrator’s imagination – was sent to a ‘lunatic asylum’ for psychological treatment and was later discharged.

We don’t know if Hollywood expressly made this edit themselves or whether it was done by Chinese censors themselves. But this is just the latest in a long, chilling string of American movies being changed to appease the Chinese Communist Party. 

Take a look at the edited ending:

Why Is Hollywood Appeasing China? 

Money.

China has the largest untapped market globally, with an ever-expanding middle class that has the disposable income to spend on entertainment.

Money always comes with a price, and that price is censoring certain content. Disney is probably the worst culprit. But every major studio is guilty of it. 

Related. The Simpsons Episode Featuring Jokes About Tiananmen Square, Brutality Of Mao Zedong Pulled From Hong Kong Disney Plus [5]

Other examples include:

What’s funny is that it doesn’t seem to be enough for China. They will still censor and ban content. China has all but blacked out the NBA for not punishing Enes Kanter [10] for his brave stance against the totalitarian regime. 

Is The Future We Have To Look Forward To?

This isn’t a case of Hollywood being leftists, though they most certainly are.

Instead, Hollywood is willing to censor itself in the name of the dollar and access to the second-largest film market in the world. There has been a fair amount of backlash at home for this type of behavior, and it may soon come that it isn’t worth making movies to appease China. 

What I suspect will happen in the future is what occurred with Fight Club. There will be multiple versions of films. This is already the case in the Middle East, and I suspect it will continue for China as well.

Is Hollywood going too far? Share your thoughts below.