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Simu Liu: Ethan Hawke’s ‘Moon Knight’ Character Needs to ‘Fire His Mandarin Teacher’

The "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" star criticized the Mandarin inaccuracies on the Disney+ series.

Simu Liu, Ethan Hawke

Simu Liu, Ethan Hawke


The Marvel Cinematic Universe may be slipping on its Mandarin.

MCU star Simu Liu, who led “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” took to social media to criticize the pronunciation in Disney+ series “Moon Knight.”

The star of the upcoming “Barbie” film tweeted, “Alright Arthur Harrow needs to fire his Mandarin teacher” after the latest episode included Ethan Hawke’s character Arthur speaking Mandarin to one of his cult followers, played by Miriam Nyarko. (See the tweet below.)

Liu’s Twitter followers agreed, with one fan commenting, “YES. EXACTLY. @MarvelStudios what happened here? What is this?? For those wondering, there were ZERO Mandarin/Chinese words spoken.”

Another user wrote, “As someone who has been studying Mandarin for a good while, I was incredibly confused watching that scene. That wasn’t Mandarin, which is weird, because the MCU did a good job with Mandarin in Shang-Chi.”

A fan noted, “Well I think they did a good job with ‘Shang Chi’ because there’s Chinese/Asian actors there who actually speak the language and likely wasn’t taught the day of on-set or something.”

Another “Moon Knight” viewer clarified, “Simu Liu isn’t making fun of Ethan Hawke for trying, he’s saying that he needs a better instructor.”

“Moon Knight” director Mohamed Diab has spoken out about the inaccurate portrayals of international cultures onscreen in American productions, namely his native Egypt. Diab criticized the DC film “Wonder Woman 1984” for being a “disgrace” to Egyptians. “Egypt looked like a country from the Middle Ages. It looked like the desert,” Diab previously said of portraying the culture as “exotic” onscreen. “We call it orientalism. It dehumanizes us.”

Diab added, “There was definitely room to play [in ‘Moon Knight’] but keep it as authentic as possible, in the realm of being fantastical. Even in the original comic books, they did a great job of researching and trying to make Egypt authentic.”

Now, the criticism of the botched Mandarin in “Moon Knight” is raising more questions about the authenticity onscreen.

Liu admitted to Vanity Fair earlier this year that as an Asian-American actor, he is “bombarded” with questions of representation. “I was not an Asian studies major. Nothing prepared me,” Liu said of his “Shang-Chi” fame. “What I wasn’t prepared for was backlash from within, for people to say, ‘He’s not our representative.’ Even if there are only a couple of people saying it, it always hurts.”

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