While Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has completely crushed the box office, not everything has been great around the release. The movie’s star Simu Liu had come under fire when some past comments he had made, possibly in the vein of sympathy around pedophiles, resurfaced. Such is the nature of the Hollywood limelight in which every past comment is scrutinized and relitigated. That was the case with Liu who had some posts on Reddit that didn’t exactly play all that well. The actor has responded to the criticism in an effort to clear up what he meant at the time.
Some background first: back in 2015 Simu Liu posted a lengthy response to a topic on Reddit having to do with the subject of pedophilia. The post has since been taken down and the account deleted, but the folks at Bounding Into Comics did an excellent job of researching and confirming that the account did, in fact, belong to Shang-Chi star Simu Liu. In a post responding to German studies about working with pedophiles, Simu Liu went into detail about how he saw pedophilia. He compared it to homosexuality in the sense that it was a “biological” piece of the human makeup for some. Liu went on to describe how treatments for pedophilia weren’t, in his mind, being done correctly. This, of course, had the effect of making it appear that Liu was sympathetic to pedophiles.
The Shang-Chi star did try to clarify his statements that he wasn’t expressing sympathy for pedophilia but rather trying to reframe the discussion around it being, as he says, something people were “born with” rather than something that was a choice. Years later, once the comments had resurfaced, Liu took to Twitter to ring in on the subject and try to explain his feelings about what he had said. He doesn’t walk back his original Reddit posts, but rather lamented that they may have been taken out of context.
This was in response to a now-deleted, post in the Twitter thread that called him out for his comments on Reddit. The Shang-Chi star had also posted a reply to one of his earlier Tweets that reminded people that he advocated for positivity and pride among people, not tearing others down.
Of course, Simu Liu has seen his star on the rise of late with the overwhelmingly positive response to his latest movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Released in mid-August, the film was an instant box office success, racking up more than $100 million in its first five days and over $320 million dollars thus far. It also set the record for most tickets sales over the Labor Day weekend holiday. This has set the stage for the Shang-Chi character to become a major force in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward and Simu Liu has cemented his spot among the group of new characters in this franchise.
It will be interesting to see if there is anything else that comes from the comments Simu Liu has made previously or if there is any backlash to the Shang-Chi brand because of it. Again, hasn’t issued any apologies for his comments or backed off his original statements. Sometimes, this can have the effect of calling off the internet masses looking for an apology of sorts. That doesn’t appear forthcoming.