Chinese Netizens Aren’t Too Happy About Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’
When Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was first announced by Marvel Studios at their San Diego Comic-Con panel last July 21, I was excited. Not only is the film centered on an Asian lead, the first of its kind in the MCU, it also opened the possibility of having more Asian representation in the film franchise.
However, the film generated a lot of controversy in China just a couple of days after it was announced.
According to Next Shark, “In Marvel comics, the Mandarin has been portrayed similarly to the evil Dr. Fu Manchu, a racist caricature featured in novels created in 1912 by British author Sax Rohmer.” The character greatly appalled the Asian American community at the time when the novels became popular and then were later adapted into films.
Fu Manchu vs Zheng Zu | NextShark.com
Marvel Comics adapted Fu Manchu’s character in the ’70s where he later became Shang-Chi’s father. When Marvel lost the rights to the Fu Manchu name, he was reverted to being called Zheng Zu.
Long story short, the Mandarin’s origins are believed to be very racist in nature. Chinese netizens have not only been criticizing Marvel but Tony Leung himself for accepting the role of the Mandarin.
Shang-Chi | Marvel Comics
On Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Chinese netizens shared their sentiments about the whole Shang-Chi thing. The following translations have been taken from Ink Stone News:
“The Mandarin and Fu Manchu are both anti-Chinese characters. I don’t understand why some fans are defending them. Are they nuts?” A netizen shared.
“Naming the villain the Mandarin, a direct translation of our Chinese language, is definitely an insult to China. I’m not going to wait until Marvel names a villain as China to boycott. I will start with boycotting Shang-Chi,” yet another commentator shared.
Meanwhile, there have been some Chinese netizens who have been defending Leung and Marvel alongside the nay-sayers.
“The Mandarin and Fu Manchu are not the same people, alright?” Wrote another Weibo user.
We got a glimpse at the fake Mandarin in Iron Man 3 where he was portrayed by Ben Kingsley. This time around, we’ll finally meet the real deal and he’ll be played by Hong Kong actor Tony Leung who is best known for his roles in In The Mood for Love and Chungking Express. Meanwhile, Simu Liu will star as the titular Shang-Chi.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to come out in February 2021.
[ALSO READ: ‘Shang-Chi’ Star Simu Liu Tweeted Marvel to Cast Him in The Film…and They Did!]
What do you think about this issue? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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