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Simu Liu, the Chinese-Canadian actor who brought Shang-Chi to life in Marvel’s Legend of the Ten Rings, has decided to defend Disney from criticism from Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese with some rather uninformed and woke tweets.
Scorsese and Tarantino are two living legends of cinema who in recent years have criticized the “Marvelization” of film. In an article for The New York Times, Scorsese wrote that “what’s not there is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger. Nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes.”
“Modern film franchises: market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption,” Scorsese said, asserting that Marvel’s films “are not cinema,” at least as he knows and would define it.
For his part, Tarantino, on the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast, showed his regret for the “Marvelization of Hollywood.” While he said he doesn’t hate Marvel movies, he does complain that it seems that nowadays everyone just wants to make Marvel-like movies, “there’s not really much room for anything else.”
In the face of these claims by Tarantino and Scorsese, Liu has taken it personally and decided to come to Marvel’s defense by attacking both filmmakers by resorting to the woke mantra of racism.
In a series of tweets, the Shang-Chi star wrote that “if the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie.”
“I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don’t get to point their nose at me or anyone,” Liu said, despite not having been singled out at any point by Scorsese or Tarantino, who probably haven’t even seen his film and may not even know of its existence.
“No movie studio is or ever will be perfect. But I’m proud to work with one that has made sustained efforts to improve diversity onscreen by creating heroes that empower and inspire people of all communities everywhere,” he went on to explain in his tweets. Concluding by saying that “I loved the “Golden Age” too.. but it was white as hell.”
Not only are the actor’s woke arguments poor for simply appealing to feelings rather than trying to explain in cinematic terms why he believes Marvel movies are not as bad as Tarantino and Scorsese think, but they also demonstrate that he is deeply uninformed.
Simu Liu and wokeism infecting everything
To accuse Tarantino and Scorsese of not allowing people like Liu to, hypothetically, not become the star of a Hollywood blockbuster is ridiculous. First, no one in Hollywood, California, USA, should have the moral obligation to make movies thinking about representing all the races of the world. And, secondly, it is also a lie.
Of Tarantino’s 9 feature films, 4 have protagonists who are not exactly white, but black (Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight); moreover, in Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, precisely Asian characters and culture play a preponderant role.
Nearly 50% of Tarantino’s films prove Simu Liu right. However, the Marvel films he so advocates for inclusion have a ratio of 3 starring non-white characters out of a total of 30 (the two in Black Panther and Shang-Chi); four, if we count the “racialized” representation in the choral film Eternals. The rest are inclusions in supporting roles.
If we contrast Simu Liu’s statement about the impossibility of Asians starring in big Hollywood productions with Scorsese’s work, the Shang-Chi actor comes out even worse.
One gets the feeling that this actor has not seen Scorsese’s films Silence and Kundun, both of which are set in Asia and have a large representation of the East among their cast and crew.
That Simu Liu did not see – or did not want to mention – Kundun could be explained by the censorship imposed by the communist regime of his country, China, on this film about Tibet and the Dalai Lama, taboo subjects for the dictatorship.
Simu Liu’s hypocrisy here reaches its maximum expression if we also take into account that Disney itself, which he defends so much, has given in on several occasions to the censorship imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. In particular, there is an example that is hilarious because it lays bare the ignorance -or hypocrisy- of his statements.
In Dr. Strange, Marvel changed the Asian character of The Ancient One for a Celtic woman -played by Tilda Swinton-, simply because the magician was born in the Himalayas, and his relationship -even if fictional- with Tibet, was too much for the Communist Party. Apparently, Disney’s “sustained efforts” to “improve on-screen diversity” that Simu Liu mentions are not enough for Tibetans, nor for other nationalities and races that the Communist Party despises.
Maybe, these victimizing outbursts by the Chinese-Canadian actor are to curry favor with the woke, and get headlines with which to hide in Google’s search engine his allegedly old Reddit posts branded as racist and homophobic by those woke whom both Simu Liu and Disney strive to please and feed.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm