The poster for "The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child" features Batman hurling a molotov cocktail in front of the words "The Future is Young," after DC Comics posted it to Instagram and Twitter, the image was copied into Chinese social media, where they sparked outrage among Chinese users who claimed that the subtext of the image was support for the Hong Kong protests.
After the outcry spread, DC deleted the image. DC is highly dependent on China for movie revenues (Aquaman grossed $292m in China, and Shazam grossed $43.8m). At the time of the Chinese social media outrage storm, DC parent company Time Warner/AT&T was promoting its upcoming film "Birds of Prey," which stars Cathy Yan, who is Chinese-American.
In the meantime, DC Comics' Instagram has been flooded with criticism from people who support the Hong Kong protests or are angry that the company appears to have given in to Chinese political pressure.
"So now Batman loves money more than justice?" asked one commenter.
Another wrote: "Apparently China rules the world now. The future is young? No, the future is censorship."
DC Comics Comes Under Fire for Deleting Batman Poster That Sparked Chinese Backlash [Rebecca Davis/Variety]