Simu Liu Takes Moon Knight Scene To Task For Passing Gibberish Off As Mandarin
Shang Chi himself has weighed in on the scene that’s heart-breaking for all the wrong reasons.
Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu has called out Ethan Hawke’s BS Mandarin in a recent episode of Marvel Studios’ latest series Moon Knight.
“Alright Arthur Harrow needs to fire his Mandarin teacher,” Liu, 32, tweeted. He was referring to the Moon Knight’s second episode, ‘Summon the Suit’, where Hawke’s cult leader Arthur Harrow converses with his sect member in Mandarin. He also shares that his followers try to learn three languages.
But guess what?
Whatever Harrow is spouting, it isn’t Mandarin. And if it is, it sure as hell isn’t a version anyone who speaks/understands Mandarin is familiar with. Come to think of it, there’s an actual name for it: Gibberish. No, make that Industrial-strength Gibberish.
Watch the offending scene here and cringe. (Hold on, does Moon Knight take place in an alternate universe where Mandarin isn’t Mandarin? )
What else can we add? There’s only so many ways to say: That is not friggin’ Mandarin.
The s*** is getting tired, man. This is not the first time Hollywood makes its Caucasian protagonists speak Mandarin and mess it up royally (see Limitless and Arrival, just to name a few).
But what makes this Mandarin-gate so disappointing is that it came from Marvel, so soon after Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the MCU’s first Asian-led superhero.
So all those efforts to make that movie culturally authentic went down the chute because of this less-than-a-minute misstep. (Wait, is Harrow’s exchange even necessary, to begin with?)
It also comes off as a little hypocritical, especially after Moon Knight’s Egyptian executive producer and director Mohamed Diab tore the makers of Wonder Woman 1984 a new one for its ‘orientalist’ — simplistic, demeaning — depiction of his home country.
And here they are committing the kind of mistake they set out to avoid. (To be fair, the ‘Summon the Suit’ ep was helmed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, but still.)
Right now, the boo-boo is the linguistic equivalent to Will Smith’s Chris Rock slap at the Oscars: it leaves a bad taste that stinks up the rest of the show. Which is a pity because I really enjoy Moon Knight: it's a really fun, weird MCU adventure featuring a wonderfully quirky performance by Oscar Isaac.
Hey, Kevin Feige, Marvel big boss, can you please redress the situation? Like throwing a few dollars this way to ADR(ight) this wrong?
Moon Knight is now streaming on Disney+, with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos, Disney+