Simu Liu’s Tweets Show That Representation is Important
Simu liu is making headlines. But, not only for acting in Marvel’s “Shang-Chi.” Evidently, it is due to his emotional reaction to playing a representative character. Thus, becoming the first Asian lead in a Marvel film is pure joy.
Initially, Liu had made headlines when he called out Marvel for its lack of representative characters, Asian superheroes.
Hey @Marvel, great job with Cpt America and Thor. Now how about an Asian American hero?
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) July 17, 2014
That is probably around the time when they reached out to him about a new role they wanted him to take on.
Thanks for getting back to me https://t.co/FFRuM03p20
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) July 21, 2019
Simu’s journey was well documented on his Twitter. Additionally, he has become an outspoken avocate of his culture and his people. There, Liu hopes to change the narrative post-pandemic times where Asians were being discriminated against. In a recent tweet, Simu posted:
“we are not an experiment.” Instead, “We are the underdog; the underestimated…the ceiling-breakers…the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year.” Furthermore, the actor wrote, “We are the surprise.”
Simu Liu’s Journey Toward Finding & Creating Representation
Simu Liu’s enthusiasm is very refreshing and genuine. Further evidence of that joy is apparent in a recent tweet regarding his new movie. However, ask yourself why he is so affected by this role and what it means for him and his culture.
Let’s. Freaking. Go.https://t.co/FMLqbgmTlQ
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) September 4, 2021
Understandably, Liu is very grateful for his opportunity to portray a hero that well looks like him. But, his journey is not an isolated moment. In order to understand his joy and success now, one must understand Simu Liu’s journey from China to Canada. Many of his peers have taken this journey (even if not to Canada but to the United States). So, it’s not extraordinary. In fact, it is quite ordinary. Simu Liu represents the many that look like him, desperate to succeed post-immigration.
The precise moment my soul left my body and ascended to the enlightened realm. Angels wept. Doves chirped. John Legend and Michael Buble duetted and their heavenly voices broke the heaven internet. It is truly an honour to know such incredible, strong, badass women. pic.twitter.com/L3m7WIO3fG
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) August 27, 2021
Simu Liu: A Chinese Immigration Story
Born in Harbin, China, he immigrated to Canada at the young age of five. As he reached adulthood, he pursued an education in Business Administration. Looking towards stability, Liu hoped to become an accountant. It is quite common. The actor faced enormous pressure to pick a traditional job. Unfortunately, Asians often experience a pressure to pursue business type careers or prestigious occupations only.
“this role has changed my life.”
However, his life’s plan was cut abrupt when laid off of his employment. Then, it occured to Liu to pursue a different occupation, a less secure field, acting. Simu took on any role he could get often playing extras or working as a stuntman. Unsure of what his future held, he pushed on hoping to be successful.
Pursuing Representation via Twitter
At some point, frustrated with the lack of representation in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Simu Liu took initiative tweeting at Marvel. But he didn’t stop there. Here’s another tweet from the star pushing the idea of an Asian Superhero.
@ChrisStoneFilms superhero. Because we deserve to have an Asian superhero. But also I love capes
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) February 5, 2016
Here in lies the crux. Often times, people often pursue avenues in which they do not see themselves represented. Yet, the lack of representation in the industry immediately discourages many. Furthermore, many are unable to push through when the odds are not in their favor. Obviously, Liu was determined and maybe motivated by the lack of representative characters. In fact, his presence on the silver screen will now inspire others who may not have had the strength to fight for their chance.
As a result, SImu Liu’s story showcases the need for further diversity, indicating how much representation matters on both small screens and silver screens.
Holy bajeezus pic.twitter.com/rrDPk4R0Mp
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) September 1, 2021
Hopefully, “Shang Chi”‘s success will lead to more opportunities to showcase Asian talent and tell Asian stories. Furthermore, characters that are not simply a vehicle or characture for comic relief is important. Representative characters should not be depicted as sterotypes but should feel real and relatable. Studios should be after authentic and diverse stories that engage and resonate with the audience.
Me laughing at the people who thought we’d flop pic.twitter.com/7UoLqRXlCJ
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) September 6, 2021