Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Marvel is the highest-grossing movie franchise in the world. That kind of success attracts an extremely large audience from a wide range of backgrounds. There have been improvements for representation in action movies, and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a huge step in the right direction, as the franchise’s first Asian-led superhero movie.
The film follows the story of Shang-Chi (portrayed by Canadian actor Simu Liu) who must confront a past he thought he left behind when he gets entangled with the mysterious Ten Rings organization.
While fans are excited about the representation in the film, many are outraged at Disney, calling the lack of promotion for the movie “racially motivated”.
Thanks to MCU fans’ very strong social media presence, many users on Twitter and Tiktok have voiced concerns that the film doesn’t seem to have nearly as much publicity, or “hype”, as other movies in the franchise.
Twitter user, @sihini_, tweeted “where’s the mf advertising for shang chi this movie looks bangin but why is simu liu carrying the promo on his back ??”
Another user, @lottyyyne, chimed in, saying “shang chi literally comes into cinemas next week and has had no promo but everyone knows about spider-man and it doesn’t come out till december”.
Actor Simu Liu has yet to address the discourse regarding his new movie that has recently hit theatres. It seems the actor has taken hold of the reins, and is promoting the movie heavily on his own social media accounts.
TikTok user, @ghost_.panther posted a video with the words, “it’s sad to see that the main actor Simu Liu is promoting shang chi more than marvel themselves … he basically devoted his whole page into promoting it while marvel had basically just started promoting the movie”.
Rumors have circulated that Marvel has allocated a marketing budget for the new movie that is significantly lower than the franchise’s other hero origin films.
Despite the alleged lack of promotion for the film, Shang-Chi performed exceptionally well in theaters, breaking Labor Day weekend records and earning $127.5 million internationally in the box office.
Regardless of whether or not the publicity for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was racially motivated, it is an incredible movie that proves large franchises, including Marvel, are capable of incorporating diversity into their cinematic universes.