Why do so many Chinese hate on the Shang-Chi film before they ever saw it?


^ As you can see most of the answers above are very negative towards Shang Chi, and the vast majority of them were written 1–2 years before the movie ever came out.

First of all, we live in a time where tensions between China and America are at an all time high. Almost anything that comes from America, especially something portraying Chinese culture is going to be viewed negatively by Chinese, because Chinese all believe that Americans are brainwashed to have negative stereotypes and negative media perceptions of them.

If the failures of Crazy Rich Asians and Mulan should be of any indication, virtually any Hollywood movie portraying Chinese/China is bound to fail in China.

So given that, maybe the answers there are not so surprising.

Let’s go through the most common complaints as seen in those answers

“They will stereotype Chinese the same way they stereotyped Africans in Black Panther”

Yes, and no. Regardless I don’t think there was going to be any way to ever satisfy Chinese here, they couldn’t film it in China itself to show the ‘real urban environments’ if they did Chinese would accuse Hollywood of not showing China’s real beautiful nature, and if they did film it with a background representing China’s beautiful mountains and lakes and rivers, they would accuse it of being ‘stereotypical Chinese’. So Hollywood really has no way out here. The village of Ta Lo is definitely something that looks like it came out of a Chinese watercolor painting. And the villagers.. more or less kind of stereotypical. But really what could they do here?

“Women in China all look like Awkwafina and Lucy Liu”

I admit, Awkwafina isn’t the best looking Asian actress. But she was put there to add some humor to the movie. Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen are actresses from China, not Chinese-American. Michelle Yeoh is already a known screen legend.

“Sima Liu looks too Westernized”

I think this might be because of the lack of Chinese actors who can speak English well enough for the role. I’m not sure what too ‘Westernized” means but they had this same criticism of Henry Golding for Crazy Rich Asians too. Not too Chinese looking enough? At least they got Tony Leung to play Wenwu who is a legendary Chinese actor.

“story is about a man who kills his own father, a huge no no in Chinese culture”

This didn’t happen in the movie. Wenwu redeems himself and sacrifices himself. They ended up killing the Dweller-in-Darkness instead.

“Fu Manchu / The Mandarin is an insult to Chinese”

Fu Manchu has been disowned by Marvel. Neither of these characters appear in the movie.

tldr; Chinese audiences were going to hate the movie no matter what, and they had preconceived notions about how the movie was going to portray them, thus they hated on the movie 2 years before it even came out.


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