Something that was eluding Marvel for a while was the Asian portrayal in the MCU. For those who are not familiar with the comics, the reality is that there are several Asian characters. The problem is that all the ones that were introduced decades ago are racist cartoons. It is more one of the most problematic racial cartoons of the twentieth century came to be a Marvel character. I mean Fu Manchu from Sax Rohmer. That being is an incarnation of the idea of the Yellow Peril or yellow danger. Basically the idea that Asian people are mostly criminals or pose a danger to Western culture.
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Another character of this type from Marvel is the Mandarin himself. That’s why they refused to feature it in Iron Man 3 – 79% and used a fake version of the character. At the time, the creative minds of Marvel thought that their racially problematic characters had no place in the MCU and it was better to replace it with white actors (The Ancient One) or give them a spin that eliminates them in a certain way (the Mandarin). They had not taken into account that there was a third, much more logical option. Putting Asian actors in and just writing the characters in a way that they are not full of harmful stereotypes.
Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings – 95% is basically how Marvel wants to amend this and present us with a movie with a mostly Asian cast that tells us a story from that region of the world that doesn’t feel like a collection of stereotypes.
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Something that surprised many fans is that in the most recent trailer for the film we could see Wong fighting with Abomintation. Many fans were sure that it was them. Others had their doubts, but at the end of the day Kevin Feige himself confirmed that it was both characters:
Some fans said, “This looks like a character they haven’t seen in many years called Abomination, fighting a character that looks like Wong.” And I can say that the reason it looks like that is that it is Abomination fighting Wong.
Benedict Wong confirmed this as well. Now that everyone knows that he is part of that film, the actor can speak more freely about it, as far as Marvel allows, of course. In a recent interview for Collider (via Screen Rant), the British actor talked about the film and made a comparison that cannot be taken lightly. Said it’s Avengers: Endgame – 95% of Asian actors. This was said using the famous phrase that Steve Rogers pronounces when all the Avengers appear to fight Thanos at the end of the tape.
It is the Assemble of Asians. Have Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Ronny Chieng, Meng’er [Zhang] and Fala Chelen feels very, very exciting. I have seen the trailer many, many times and I am very excited
It must be said that it is not the first great Hollywood movie with a gigantic cast, mostly Asian. So far that honor has been held by the romantic comedy Locamente Millonarios – 93%. That doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s exciting for Marvel to give us these kinds of movies.
On the other hand, not long ago the protagonist of the film, Simu Liu, talked about the trolls who have been judging their appearance after landing that role in an article by Men’s Health:
I have a lot of trolls. They leave comments in Chinese on my page, and I would be very excited to translate them, because I thought ‘oh, they must be expressing their support’. AND [en su lugar] It would be like, ‘Your face looks like a dog’s butt, you don’t deserve this role.’ […] Growing up, he was obsessed with being desirable. In the course of auditioning for [Shang Chi], I never thought that I had a chance at all the time, because I never felt like I was the most handsome, the tallest or the best in martial arts.
Keep reading: Before Shang-Chi, Simu Liu despised martial arts for being an Asian stereotype
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Shang-Chi: Benedict Wong says it is the Avengers: Endgame of Asian actors