When Marvel released Shang-Chi, fans were eager for a new silver-screen heartthrob in the MCU. Actor Simu Liu, who plays the titular character, instantly won fans over with his laid-back charm and endearing meme-ability. However, on Sept. 16, 2021, people on Twitter began to decry Simu as problematic after a series of his alleged Reddit threads from 2015 resurfaced with controversial content.
Is Simu problematic? And what is this Reddit controversy about? Here's everything we know about the situation, explained.
What is the Reddit controversy about? Fans are coming to Simu's defense against rumors he posted on a racist incel subreddit.
While it's unclear how the rumors got started, people went wild on Twitter when Simu's old Reddit handle, /u/nippedinthebud, was recovered. He allegedly had the handle from 2013–2015, and as a result of his threads being un-archived, he stands accused of posting multiple times in a racist incel subreddit. However, one fan points out, anyone who decides to fact-check could see that not all is as it seems on the internet.
User Lewis Parker on Twitter writes, "So, the Simu Liu Reddit debacle has really, really annoyed me because if you took 5 MINUTES TO FACT CHECK, you’d find out it’s all nonsense. And if you’re too lazy to do that, here, I’ll do it for you." They begin to systemically de-bunk the history of Simu's allegedly problematic Reddit comments, most of which were taken out of context.
The so-called incel subreddit Simu was accused of posting in wasn't an incel subreddit in 2016, according to Lewis. Simu commented in the subreddit because the television show he starred in, Kim's Convenience, had been mentioned in the thread at the time. Simu was also accused of moderating a subreddit hating on Black women, but when the user combed through the entirety of Simu's Reddit archive history, there were no such posts recovered.
What Lewis's Reddit deep-dive did find were numerous posts about how enthusiastic Simu was to be on Kim's Convenience, his love for basketball, and calling other people out for their racism. There were also accusations that he had empathized with pedophiles from another out-of-context comment, but the same user shut down these rumors by suggesting Simu made an ill-thought-out argument — he was not endorsing pedophilic actions.
When Twitter users were jumping on out-of-context Reddit posts by Simu, one user seemingly came out of the woodwork to accuse him of being a member of the "Men's Rights Asian" or MRA subculture. Voiceover actor Edward Hong publicly accused Simu of being the ringleader of this subculture, which includes harassing API women.
Whether or not Simu will eventually address the accusations against him is yet to be seen, but it's important to note that anything can be taken out of context on the internet and that a little research goes a long way.