"I've had people question me my entire life"
Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu has responded to Asian Boss’s YouTube video in which people were asked if he was “too ugly” to play Shang-Chi.
Last month Liu was announced as the lead character in Marvel’s upcoming film Shang-Chi alongside Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina.
Whilst many were excited by the announcement, fans in China were less enthused with some saying the Chinese-Canadian actor was “not hot enough” to play Shang-Chi.
YouTube channel Asian Boss took it to the streets of China to investigate whether the reports were true and to see what Chinese people thought of Liu.
In the video, random Chinese people are shown images of Liu and are asked their opinion and to rate the actor based on looks.
“He looks like a typical ABJ,” said one woman. “American-born Japanese. Or is he Korean? He’s not bad. He’s quite handsome.”
Another said she would “give him a 6,” adding, “He’s just about average. I don’t think he’s considered handsome by Chinese standards.”
One woman said she would have preferred someone else to take on the role.
“I feel… a bit disappointed,” she said. “Because there are more handsome men in China, who are aged between 30-40.”
Another woman gave Liu a 3.5 stating that “he looks a bit mature and he looks old.”
Chinese actors Eddie Peng, Vincent Zhao and Wu Jing are suggested as alternatives.
Liu caught wind of the video circulating the internet and decided to respond to it via Facebook group ‘subtle asian traits’.
The 30-year-old actor revealed wrote that Asian Boss had pronounced his name wrong and that the criticism shown by the YouTube channel was a “very teachable moment”.
“I’ve had people question me my entire life,” Liu wrote. “A lot of teachers thought I’d never amount to anything, a lot of producers, directors, writers AND costars have questioned my acting ability, and I’ve been rejected from countless conservatories, grants, programs, etc. I’ve been second-guessed at every single possible step of my career.”
He went on to say that his success stems from the ability to filter out negative opinions from others.
“The reason why I’m still standing is because I’m singularly focused, I have the utmost belief in my abilities and I refuse to let the opinions of others define me,” Liu said.
The Canadian actor then offered advice to those reading the post, urging them to ignore negativity.
“In your careers, in your lives, no matter where you go, you will always encounter voices of doubt. Some will come from people who are frighteningly close to you,” he said. “Are you going to let those voices own you?”
“I’m not going a few voices of doubt ruin that for me, and neither should you, in whatever you are pursuing in your life,” Liu stated, before slamming the YouTube channel’s credibility.
“I sincerely hope this Youtube channel will attack topics with a bit more journalistic and creative integrity in the future… there are a lot of real and valid reasons why audiences find Shang Chi’s source material to be controversial and I love the discussion that’s taking place. This… not so much,” he concluded.
In other news, Liu recently bought out a cinema for the screening of Awkwafina’s film The Farewell.