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Why Netflix's 3 Body Problem Is Causing Controversy And Outrage In China

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According to CNN, the struggle session scene and death of Ye Wenjie’s father takes place in the middle of the original Chinese version of “3 Body Problem” — this apparently contradicts certain reports that it is simply absent from that version due to censorship. However, the English version, expertly translated by Ken Liu, moves the scene to the beginning of the book with Liu Cixin’s approval. This explains its leading role in the show’s debut. Despite being technically book-accurate, this immediately sets a negative tone for China and the Cultural Revolution, and some Chinese viewers consider the scene to paint their country in a particularly harsh light.

The more global approach to Netflix’s version of “3 Body Problem” has caused some Chinese social media users to accuse the show of positioning the story as the West saving the world from a Chinese disaster. “Netflix seems to deliberately want to convey a frightening message to its global audience: it is the Chinese who brought aliens to [Earth],” said one Weibo user, via Financial Times. The publication quoted another Chinese individual (who withheld their full name) who observed, “Netflix’s adaptation cut the story out of Chinese cultural context and moved it to London.”

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