Shang-Chi Faces China Ban Due To Racist Character Links

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 10 Sep 2021 10:50
Shang-Chi Faces China Ban Due To Racist Character LinksPA/Disney/Marvel Studios

Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings may be banned in China because of the character Fu Manchu.

Shang-Chi hit cinemas last week, and has so far received rave reviews across the board, including an impressive 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Despite the reviews, the film is still to be approved for release in China as there are concerns that Shang-Chi may violate the country’s strong censorship laws all international movies must abide by.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. (Marvel Studios)Marvel Studios

The main issue around the movie is reportedly Fu Manchu – Shang-Chi’s father in the original comics. The character is reportedly based on something known as ‘yellow peril’ – the idea that Chinese and Japanese people are a threat to Western society.

White novelist Sax Rohmer, who created the controversial character, described him as the embodiment of ‘all the cruel cunning of an entire Eastern race’, MailOnline reports.


However, Fu Manchu doesn’t actually feature in the Marvel movie, as he was replaced by Xu Wenwu, played by Tony Leung.

Despite this, Xu Wenwu appears to have done little to change Chinese film critics’ mind as the film still has ties to Fu Manchu.

Shang-Chi (Marvel Studios)Marvel Studios

Shi Wenxue, a film critic in Beijing, said of the character:


Fu Manchu is a treacherous representation of the ‘yellow peril’ stereotype. Chinese audiences cannot accept a prejudiced character.

There have also been criticisms of Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu being cast as the lead role, Pop Buzz reports, with some dubbing him ‘not Chinese enough’.

Meanwhile, American critics applauded the film for its ‘sensitive’ handling of Chinese culture, while branding Shang-Chi as a ‘breakthrough’ for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The movie broke Labor Day records by generating a staggering $71.4 million at the US Box Office on its opening weekend.


The previous record was set by the horror film Halloween in 2007, which generated $30.6 million, NPR reports.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Film and TV, China, Marvel, Now


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