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Taiwan Ministry of Culture responds to China's censorship of word 'kill'

Chinese subtitles for ‘Hannibal’ spared controversy after replacing ‘kill’ with ‘suck’

(Pixabay, CDD20 image)

(Pixabay, CDD20 image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After Chinese subtitlers self-censored by replacing the word “kill” with “suck” in the American series “Hannibal,” inadvertently making dialogue suggestive, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture (MOC) discussed the value of freedom by reviewing the country’s own history of censorship under authoritarianism.

In a Facebook post, the MOC wrote that while the public may find the over-censorship of “Hannibal” a funny topic, the incident reflects a serious issue. “The freedom to use whichever word, to look back upon whichever period in history, and to create without restriction should not be subject to the authorities' inspection and suppression.”

The MOC added, “This is a shared belief and value in Taiwan as well as our predecessors’ deep realization and historical experience. From the present, free standpoint, we hope that everyone can remember history without freedom and cherish what you hold in your hands."

The MOC wrote that in Taiwan, creators also lived with censored speeches and publications under authoritarianism. It mentioned the “Popeye Incident” of 1968 as “a symbolic example,” in which author Bo Yang (柏楊), who translated the “Popeye the Sailor Man’ comics,” was accused of alluding to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and sentenced to prison.

Another example is the upcoming 228 Peace Memorial Day, “which commemorates the painful time in history over 70 years ago that survivors dared not discuss, textbooks loathed to mention, and the government blacklisted as a ‘sensitive term’ in the past,” according to the MOC.