Although it seemed like most audiences were happy with the release of the MCU film Spider-Man: No Way Home, that wasn’t quite the case. It’s just been reported that China actually made a request to Sony in an effort to have Spider-Man: No Way Home censored. Apparently they wanted to remove the depiction of the Statue of Liberty from the film.
This report comes via Matthew Belloni at Puck, who said China made a request to Sony in their effect to have the Statue of Liberty removed. Specifically, he said China “had a request: Delete the Statue of Liberty from the ending of the film.” Otherwise they said the film wouldn’t be playing in China. Nevertheless, Sony executive Tom Rothman refused their request.
Sony’s next decision was to ask if they could simply shorten the scenes in which it was used. This was further explained by Matthew Belloni:
“Then they asked if the Statue could simply be minimized in the sequence: if Sony could cut a few of the more patriotic shots of Holland standing atop the crown, or dull the lighting so that Lady Liberty’s visage wasn’t so front-and-center.”
While Sony did give this request some consideration, they still refused. Specifically because even if the film was cut, it didn’t mean that a release in China was guaranteed. There were other reasons that made them deny their request, such as the possibility that the film just wouldn’t be as lucrative of a success in China anyways.
While there isn’t much evidence suggesting that the Chinese box office wouldn’t be lucrative, Matthew Belloni does make an interesting claim. He believes that this is only the first step in studios no longer caring to censor their movies for Chinese markets. Whether or not that’s truly the case remains to be seen. But Sony refusing to alter Spider-Man: No Way Home for China certainly lends some authenticity to the claims.