MCU ‘Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu Called Out for Being “Privileged”

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Simu Liu as Shang-Chi Poster crop

Credit: Marvel Studios

It appears that the Shang-Chi star has stirred up some controversy online.

Credit: Marvel Studios

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Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) actor Simu Liu who starred in Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings (2021) has received accusations of his “privileged” position.

Simu Liu stars as the eponymous Shang-Chi in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Shang-Chi franchise. The film, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton was lauded in 2021 when it premiered in theaters, and the first featured an mostly-Asian cast with Simu Liu as Xu Shang-Chi/Shaun, Awkwafina as best friend Katy, Meng’er Zhang as estranged younger sister Xu Xialing, Fala Chen as Shang-Chi’s mysterious mother from hidden village Ta-Lo, Ying Li, Benedict Wong as Wong (of Wong Cinematic Universe fame), Ben Kingsley as fake “The Mandarin” actor Trevor Slattery, iconic star Tony Leung as intimidating father and Ten Rings founder, Xu Wenwu/The Mandarin, and Florian Munteanu as Ten Rings member Razor Fist.

Simu Liu as Shang-Chi in Marvel Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Credit: Marvel Studios

Simu Liu shared his opinion on mental health treatment with the Twittersphere recently, which triggered a fair amount of backlash.

Liu weighed in on the stigmas surrounding seeking mental health treatment and therapy, speaking openly on the topic on his personal Twitter account — even calling out a “friend” who would abuse his friendship in an attempt to borrow “too much” money:

You guys realize your life doesn’t have to be on the verge of total collapse to be in therapy right? Like you can literally talk about whatever you want.

Like I can spend a session talking about my one friend who borrows way too much money. He knows who he is.

Now, the netizens of Twitter had something to say about this seemingly innocuous and seemingly stigma-busting post.

User @Jacey_Webb was the first to share some critique of Liu’s statement:

You have the correct sentiment and come from a place of good heart. But, it is important to acknowledge the fact that some people may not have access to therapy or the means to go through one financially.

Besides that though.. I agree with you!

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However, @wj_phoenix had something to say in response, pointing out that:

Not everything said is meant to be for every single person. He’s not talking about those people

This did nothing to deter the criticism though, and @DavidDucker7 shot back highlighting that “poor people” often are not able to afford healthcare or therapy:

You dont think excluding poor people from healthcare dialogue is worth complaining about? You dont think poor people should have healthcare ? That’s an invalid complaint to you ?

@_n0ts0rry_ added to this sentiment swirling around Liu’s stance, bringing up the fact that this was a “[privileged]” comment from Liu due to the “long wait in ontario for referrals to psychiatrists”, plus the reality that people are struggling unless they have “private health insurance that covers counselling”:

In direct response to this, @wj_phoenix replies, attempting to point out a few flaws in that logic:

There’s a lot of services out there that are affordable, a lot of people just fall back on it being expensive and don’t actually look into it.

Sure some can’t but he’s not talking to them then is he? He’s talking to people that can go but think it’s reserved for Armageddon

Some others tried to point out the seeming ridiculousness of the argument calling Liu out, as @EzeeT responded to @xohsmith who made a jibe as Liu’s “shang-chi cheque”:

@xohsmith: yeah sure +100$/hour talk because I feel like chatting with someone

damn the shang-chi cheque really came in

(in reply) @EzeeT: You don’t need Marvel money to go to therapy.

Overall, it seems like the internet cannot come to a consensus on this, although most seem to trend towards defending Liu’s statement promoting therapy as something everyone should consider — if the like ratios are to be believed.

Mental health struggles are something that everyone likely has to deal with in their lives, and Liu’s recommendation of seeking therapy and not letting stigma stop you can be seen as a statement supporting the benefits of the practice, and trying to dismantle prejudice around the topic. He’s not necessarily speaking about the affordability of the mental health industry — which could even be considered a totally different subject.

Do you agree with Simu Liu regarding mental health and therapy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios is the home of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where iconic superheroes like Tony Stark’s Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Roger’s Captain America (Chris Evans)… well, used to reside.

You can watch Tatiana Maslany as the eponymous She-Hulk in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) right now over on Disney+, and check out other Disney+ Originals like Ms Marvel (2022) starring Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel), and even revisit older MCU films like Captain Marvel (2019) starring Brie Larson as the titular superhero.

Coming up next within the Marvel Cinematic Universe is King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) send-off Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, coming to theaters November 11, 2022.

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