I think we can all agree that Simu Liu just solidified himself as the entertainment industry's next big superstar following the unprecedented success of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, despite the fact that the Marvel Studios' project is seen by many as a crowning achievement in terms of Asian representation in Hollywood, the film has been banned in China and Liu is getting a ton of heat from Chinese people.
The culprit, you ask? An old interview of the Canadian actor that aired long before he landed his career-changing Marvel gig. In 2017, Liu did an interview for CBC's "What's Your Story?" for the 150th anniversary of Canada where he detailed his humble beginnings before his family immigrated from Harbin in Heilongjiang Province to Canada.
In the said featurette, Simu described growing up in communist China where he claims people were dying of starvation. He also talked about wanting a "free life" and how China was part of the "third world", just one of the many reasons why his family decided to flee their homeland and start anew in Canada.
Of course, Simu's statements did not sit well with Chinese people, and screenshots from the "controversial" interview were posted on Diba, an online forum for Chinese nationalists, on the Chinese social networking app Weibo (via CBR). Unsurprisingly, the MCU newcomer drew flak for his choice of words which came across to many as him insulting China.
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Simu has previously tried to reach out to Chinese people and apologize for how Shang-Chi depicts them but obviously, they were having none of his explanation. Now, considering Shang-Chi is promoting and championing Asian representation on a global scale, the entire situation between Simu Liu and "his" people is quite messy, to say the least, and it doesn't look like China isn't ready for a clean slate anytime soon.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now screening in cinemas in North America.