Yesterday RushHour Star Chinese actor Leon Lee (Chenhao Li) posted a video of him playing Bruce Lee and it went viral on Chinese SNS, hit 2 million views and half million likes right away.
The only problem is that Shang-Chi is racist. Very racist. So racist that Chinese people are already talking about boycotting the film. I’m a huge fan of the character but there are some improvements that would make him even better.
How to Fix It: Get Rid of Fu Manchu.
Marvel chose to use Fu Manchu and that’s a huge problem. First appearing in the 1913 novel The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu he’s literally the face of the Asian stereotype. The book covers are where we got the name “Fu Manchu mustache”. The inscrutable Chinese menace with plans to rule the world was the basis for things like the Japanese Internment camps. Nicknamed the “Yellow Peril” Rohmer rode the popularity of the idea that Asian people were out to destroy all white people.
The 1930s movies starring a white actor were so culturally insensitive that the Chinese embassy wrote a letter of protest. Still, the popularity of Fun Manchu remained and countless characters are based on him. In fact, Marvel’s villain The Mandarin is based on Fu Manchu and they wisely got rid of the Asian influences for Iron Man 3.
However with tricky Trade war and controversial background of Shang-Chi,A well-know Chinese Critic says”its better to have a Chinese citizen to play than America Chinese ,as the there are overwhelming voice online calling this character racist and “white-washing” .Shang-Chi’s character embraces his Chinese heritage and is very proud to be Asian. The early comics focus on the hatred of the Chinese that lingered after World War II and Shang-Chi always fought to change that. But people called him every chop-socky name in the book. Even his best friend Black Jack Tarr called him a “chinaman” and it wasn’t until the mid-2010s that Shang-Chi told him to stop calling him that.
China is a huge market for Hollywood. If they offend that market they can kiss blockbuster status goodbye. Plus, they’re status as a diversity trend-setting studio with movies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel will fade away.
So Marvel, please get Shang-Chi right. Get rid of Fu Manchu, don’t focus on his martial arts and make him a tough loner. He deserves it.
So, yes. It’s a step in the right direction that Shang-Chi is going to portray the cultural heritage of China, but it’s also a problem because he’s not Chinese.
First off, he’s the son of a Chinese man and a white American. So he’s half Chinese. I’m not going to imply that someone is only Asian if they’re pureblood. But it does make a difference.