Simu Liu, star of Marvel’s upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, has responded to the controversy of racism surrounding Saturday Night Live’s hiring of Shane Gillis. Comedian Gillis was recently announced as a new cast member on NBC’s long-running sketch comedy show.
Since Gillis’ hiring, a series of broadcasts from Gillis’ podcast show, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, have come under fire for the comedian’s use of racist and sexist humor. This includes derogatory remarks about Asians (using mock Asian-American accents no less), as well as women and the LGBTQ+ community. The irony of Gillis’s addition to SNL’s lineup comes alongside that of Bowen Yang, the show’s first cast member of East Asian-descent, is hard to miss.
In a tweet by Liu, the actor remarks of Gillis’ podcast, “It wasn’t funny then and it sure as hell isn’t funny now.” Liu, who is best know for his role as Jung on CBC’s Kim’s Convenience, hit pay dirt when he was cast as the titular hero in Marvel’s Shang-Chi, becoming the MCU’s first Asian superhero. You can check out Liu’s full response to the controversy of Gillis’ hiring, below.
Part of Marvel Studios’ grand Phase 4 for its cinematic universe, Shang-Chi is based on the comics conceived by Marvel to capitalize on the new popularity of kung-fu films in 1970’s America, brought about by Bruce Lee and other Asian martial arts actors. Shang-Chi is an unparalleled martial arts master originally trained to be a villain, but who was won over by the fight for good. As the first Asian actor to take center stage in a Marvel movie, Liu has a lot riding on his shoulders as far as carving out a place for his community in the American comic book movie machine.
He’s off to a fine start, standing against the propagation of racist remarks like any good hero should. Referring to a hateful slur used by Gillis in his podcasts, Liu stated, “This word has been used to dehumanize my people for over 150 years. You don’t get to use it in the name of edgy comedy.” Spoken like a true force for good.
The pressure is now on NBC and the powers behind SNL to decide what to do with Gillis. They may discard him before the show’s next season, and apologize for his employment in the first place. Or they may stand behind their hire and, in the least, curb his offensive humor to a respectful degree. With Liu and a host of other Hollywood personas coming out to speak against the advancement of those who make their living belittling others, good money is on the former.
More: New SNL Cast Member Shane Gillis Responds to Racism Controversy
Source: Simu Liu/Twitter