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The new Netflix science fiction series “3 Body Problem” has sparked controversy for setting an originally Chinese story in the United Kingdom and casting a diverse set of actors. The show, based on the Chinese novel by Liu Cixin, takes place during the Cultural Revolution in China, but the adaptation shifts the setting to the UK. The main cast includes actors from various countries, with only a few of Chinese descent playing Chinese characters.

Some social media users, including critics from China, have raised concerns that the adaptation risks “Westernizing” the cultural themes of the original Chinese novels. The show has also faced backlash in China for its depiction of the Cultural Revolution, with some viewers feeling that it portrays the country in a negative light. Despite Netflix not being available in China, the show has still managed to generate controversy in the country.

The cast and creators of “3 Body Problem” have defended the show against accusations of whitewashing. They argue that an international version of the story will appeal to a wider audience and that author Liu Cixin gave permission to switch the setting and cast an international ensemble. The show creators also emphasize that the Cultural Revolution aspects of the books have been preserved in the adaptation, and the international cast adds depth to the storytelling.

The series is based on Cixin’s “Remembrance of Earth’s Past” trilogy, which has been widely praised for infusing complex scientific topics with morality. The books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been adapted into a Chinese television series. The opening scene of the English version depicting a Cultural Revolution dissident being beaten is not present in the Chinese adaptation. The expensive production cost of each episode indicates the high stakes for the success of the Netflix series.

Despite the controversy, there is anticipation for the potential renewal of “3 Body Problem” for a second season. The show’s creators have plans for multiple seasons to adapt the remaining books in the trilogy. The future of the series will depend on viewer reception and whether Netflix decides to continue the show. In the meantime, the debate over cultural authenticity, casting choices, and the international appeal of the series continues to attract attention.

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