Simu Liu Says His Review Of “Moon Knight” Was Overblown

Shang Chi Star Simu Liu made waves earlier this year when he criticized a scene from the second episode of moon knight. It came as Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow showed his worldliness by revealing that he and his followers had to learn a second language, with Harrow choosing Mandarin Chinese. He then demonstrated what he had learned, although as Liu said:

His comment quickly went viral, although now Liu has explained in an interview with GQ that his reaction was excessive.

“I think there might be a misconception that Marvel is this kind of monolithic, all-powerful single organism with infinite resources. I think it’s easy to pin the blame on Marvel as a whole. If you really break it down, there was a translator who probably shouldn’t have been a translator. There were probably a few people in the decision-making process who should have raised a flag who didn’t.

I fully appreciate the fact that Mandarin is not an easy language. I didn’t want to make it a big political thing. I just wanted to poke fun at it because the sound coming out of that man’s mouth didn’t sound like Mandarin in any way.

That’s a fair point. It would have been one thing if Harrow had muddled or mispronounced the line, but the fact that it’s not even vaguely in Mandarin in any way is an unambiguous failure.

The error was particularly disappointing considering that showrunner Mohamed Diab had pushed for moon knight be an authentic reflection of Egyptian culture. In interviews, he has stated that he wanted as many Egyptians as possible to work on the show and for the setting and story to accurately depict his country of origin. But obviously Diab failed to put on a perfect show.

Even so, as Liu rightly points out, it’s a small flaw rather than a huge problem. Yet the fact remains that Mandarin is the language with the most native speakers in the world. So let’s just hope this is a lesson for Disney and Marvel Studios not to go cheap on translation, even if it’s just for one line of dialogue.

moon knight is available to stream on Disney Plus.

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