Is Simu Liu secretly misogynist? Old Reddit posts tied to ‘Shang-Chi’ star resurface
Screenshots from now-deleted accounts go viral implicating Liu in problematic MRAsian subculture, actor hints they were taken out of context
It seems Disney can't catch a break. After weathering the storms brought on by allegations against Gina Carano, Brie Larson and James Gunn, the Mouse House is now facing a mounting PR crisis over its latest superhero Shang-Chi, or rather actor Simu Liu. In mid-September, posts began circulating of a now-deleted Reddit account, making racist and misogynist comments. Many believe that the account belonged to Liu, leading the actor to issue a scathing attack in response.
Numerous actors and celebrities have been exposed of late, for their old posts on social media. In June 2020, Hartley Sawyer was booted from 'The Flash' after his old racist and misogynist tweets resurfaced. In February 2021, Chris Pratt faced pressure after old homophobic tweets of his resurfaced, before later being debunked as photoshopped. In June, singer Billie Eilish became the next target, after a TikTok video showed her mocking Asian languages.
While Eilish and Pratt were able to escape relatively unscathed, it seems Liu may not be so lucky. So far, Marvel or Disney have not responded to the allegations, leaving Liu to defend himself on social media. The whole controversy erupted after Slate published a story about the Men's Rights Asians subreddit, which led some Twitter users to identify Liu before it blew up with the old Reddit posts being shared.
Liu identified via Reddit
On September 15, Slate published their article 'Men’s Rights Asians Think This Is Their Moment'. The story focused on the MRAsian subculture, where people harass those that threaten Asian men. That story quickly made its way to social media with many debating who the people were. Then on September 16, actor Edward Hong tweeted, "f--- it. The person in question is Simi Liu." He followed that up with a series of tweets identifying Liu. In another, he said, "My intent is not to cancel Simu. I once was an MRA and quite possible I still have traces of it now that I need to eliminate. Many of my Asian male peers are MRA, whether they admit it or not. Maybe Simu can change. But change is only possible when one can own up to it."
Fuck it. The person in question is Simu Liu.— Edward Hong #FreePalestine #TaiwanIsACountry (@CinnabonMonster) September 16, 2021
FINALLY: My intent is not to cancel Simu. I once was an MRA and quite possible I still have traces of it now that I need to eliminate. Many of my Asian male peers are MRA, whether they admit it or not. Maybe Simu can change.— Edward Hong #FreePalestine #TaiwanIsACountry (@CinnabonMonster) September 16, 2021
But change is only possible when one can own up to it.
Another user tweeted, "Basically Simu Liu was a major part of an anti-Black subreddit that called Asian woman traitors." That person's account was locked shortly afterward. But plenty of others have come forward with proof that Liu was part of MRA, through the Reddit account u/nippedinthebud. Screenshots are now circulating of old posts the account made, in many cases linked straight back to Liu.
For one, the account says "I am a Canadian actor," in one post. In 2017, the account also posted on r/KimsConvenience, the Canadian sitcom Liu was part of before he became Shang-Chi. The post says, "Just wanted to say thank you so much for tuning in and for being a part of our show," and signs off Simu. Between 2019 and 2019, the account has posted numerous times on Reddit, often with clear references to Liu. It didn't take long for users to put 2 + 2 together.
The reason Liu is getting a lot of flak is that some of those posts tend to be a bit unsavory. In one, he says, "depending on where you live in the world, sexual relations with children isn't even legal." In another, he says, "I am all about the gender equality however girls are just not as good as boys at sports." In another, he replied, "Think that women shouldn’t be allowed to show their faces in public." However, context matters, as one vocal Twitter user pointed out.
Liu hits back with some fan support
Given that the account clearly identifies Liu, things don't look too good for the actor at the moment. The account was last active on July 8, 2019, 12 days before Marvel unveiled Liu as Shang-Chi at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. Since then it appears to have been deleted, but the posts have resurfaced thanks to an archiving software. Liu has not directly responded to the thread by Hong, or user @NebsGoodTakes who shared screenshots of some of the posts. He has, however, hit back thanks to the help of one fan.
Twitter user Katie Bee has taken it upon herself to defend Liu, with a thread exonerating the actor. "The screenshots are the ONLY remotely problematic moments on the entire account, and some of them are taken out of context," she said in one tweet. The comment about women's faces was made in response to the question "What is something people do that makes you instantly despise them". The one about girls and sports was posted on a thread asking "what are some "a-----e" things that you say or do on a regular basis?"
"the dark insinuations going around about #SimuLiu's old Reddit account showing him to be a misogynistic racist MRA ringleader are false," Bee said. Liu has liked several of those tweets and even made a brief one himself about the controversy. "Twitter is a slanderous place sometimes, and it feels good to shut down trolls and bad faith actors who want to drag your name through the mud," he tweeted on September 17.
Twitter is a slanderous place sometimes, and it feels good to shut down trolls and bad faith actors who want to drag your name through the mud.— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) September 17, 2021
It certainly appears as if Liu's Reddit posts have been taken entirely out of context. None of those accusing him of pedophilia, or misogyny have screenshotted the original post or context, but merely Liu's response. It's unclear if the actor will fight the allegations further, or just let it die down. Hong may want an apology, but so far it doesn't look like Liu will be giving one. As for Disney, only time will tell.