Light spoilers for the latest episode of Moon Knight, “Summon the Suit,” lie ahead.
So far, Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight has received positive reviews from critics as well as enthusiastic responses from fans. Many seem taken with Oscar Isaac’s performance as the main protagonist (wild accent and all) as well as Ethan Hawke’s turn as the villain. Aside from fans and critics, Shang-Chi star Simu Liu has also been tuning in for the superhero show. And it would appear that he has a specific critique of Hawke’s character on the Disney+ show, which is shared by a number of others.
During the second episode of Moon Knight, Oscar Isaac’s Steven Grant has another encounter with Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow, who subsequently shows the former gift shop employee around his compound. While touring the area, Harrow has a brief exchange with one of his cult’s younger members, during which they address each other by speaking Mandarin Chinese. When Grant inquires about their use of another language, the villain explains that everyone in their community aspires to pick up three dialects.
Simu Liu, however, wasn’t too impressed with what he heard from the character. The Marvel Cinematic Universe star took to Twitter to drop an honest reaction to the use of Mandarin within the show. Check it out down below:
Alright Arthur Harrow needs to fire his Mandarin teacherApril 9, 2022
The Kim’s Convenience alum’s post was soon followed by a chorus of other reactions from fellow Moon Knight viewers. One user, who explained that they’d been studying the language for quite some time, admitted to being confused by the scene:
As someone who has been studying Mandarin for a good while, I was incredibly confused watching that scene. That wasn't Mandarin, which is weird, because the MCU did a good job with Mandarin in Shang-Chi.April 9, 2022
It’s true that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was lauded by audiences for its astute representation of the language. In addition to that, many were also taken with the fact that the movie opted to build a cast predominantly made up of Asian actors.
Others seem to be theorizing about why the use of Mandarin Chinese may not have been accurate. Another user dropped an idea, which he relates to the cult atmosphere that’s being depicted:
Was that maybe the point? I got the sense that everything was meant to feel like a false paradise. Like look how enlightened these people are they speak 3 languages, but they don’t really speak them.April 9, 2022
On the other hand, one user didn’t care for the use of the language altogether. This is due to their belief that it’s being used to fulfill a conventional story trope:
I still find it wild how Mandarin or Arabic will still be used to prove a point of, "Hey, look at this weird, far-fetched language I learnt. So out of the ordinary isn't it??". So would German or Portuguese.April 9, 2022
Simu Liu has been a firm advocate for proper Asian representation within film and television. Liu, who immigrated to Canada with his parents when he was young, has expressed pride in his culture and has opened up about just how much accurate representation can mean for viewers. Based on this, it may not be too surprising to some that he would choose to speak up on the matter.
Chances are that Arthur Harrow’s use of Mandarin Chinese will be reduced to the one scene and likely won’t come into play as Moon Knight trudges on. Should the character use any of the other languages he’s learned, though, it’s likely that other viewers could follow Simu Liu’s lead and share thoughts.
Moon Knight drops new episodes on Wednesdays, and you’ll need a Disney+ subscription to check it out. You can also check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule for info on other Marvel shows hitting the small screen this year.
Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
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