Simu Liu is getting slammed on Twitter for calling out directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino after the latter criticized the “Marvel-ization of Hollywood.”
Tarantino appeared on the “2 Bears, 1 Cave” podcast, where he called Marvel films “the only things that seem to generate any kind of excitement amongst a fanbase or even for the studio making them.”
The Academy Award-winning director added that the actors who are featured in every Marvel movie are “not movie stars” because it is the franchise’s characters — Captain America, Thor and other superheroes — “that become a star.”
Tarantino noted that while he isn’t fond of Marvel films, he doesn’t despise them.
But Liu wasn’t having it. The “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star took to Twitter to respond to Tarantino’s remarks.
If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie.
I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don't get to point their nose at me or anyone.
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— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) November 22, 2022
“If the only gatekeepers to movie stardom came from Tarantino and Scorsese, I would never have had the opportunity to lead a $400 million plus movie,” Liu tweeted. “I am in awe of their filmmaking genius. They are transcendent auteurs. But they don’t get to point their nose at me or anyone.”
“No movie studio is or ever will be perfect,” he went on. “But I’m proud to work with one that has made sustained efforts to improve diversity onscreen by creating heroes that empower and inspire people of all communities everywhere. I loved the ‘Golden Age’ too.. but it was white as hell.”
Scorsese, best known for directing films such as “Goodfellas” and “Taxi Driver,” has previously said that he doesn’t consider Marvel movies to be cinema.
“Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks,” he said in an interview with Empire. “It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
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Scorsese clarified in a New York Times opinion piece in response to the criticism that if he grew up at a later time in his life, he might have enjoyed watching films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“The fact that the films themselves don’t interest me is a matter of personal taste and temperament,” he wrote. “But I grew up when I did and I developed a sense of movies — of what they were and what they could be — that was as far from the Marvel universe as we on Earth are from Alpha Centauri.”
Liu garnered support from fans.
I don't know what sparked this, but personally I don't like Tarantino and could live without Scorsese. You've already provided more entertainment than both of them combined from where I'm sitting, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you.
— baz (@iambaz_uk) November 22, 2022
Old men looking for their relevance be like: pic.twitter.com/PuKTBJq6ax
— October Surprise (@0CT0BERSURPRISE) November 22, 2022
Movie making is primarily about story telling. And the MCU movies do that as well as any I've seen. And the actors in those MCU movies are as brilliant as any others when they do it convincingly.
— A Wolf Eel (@scubahill) November 22, 2022
However, he also faced heavy criticism for taking aim at the directors.
You are proving Tarantino's point. With all due respect, people went to see the character not you. It could have been anyone else and people still would have attended anyway. That's what he's referring to. The movie wasn't advertised as "Liu's film", but as a "Studio name film".
— Jo Costello (@MaJoJovi) November 23, 2022
Bro NOBODY saw Shang-Chi because of you.
They saw it because of the Marvel branding.
That's literally all Tarantino said.
— Pzykozilla (@pzykozilla) November 22, 2022
I've learned about dozens of films from Scorsese & Tarantino (& the French New Wave critic/directors & Coppola & Schrader & Spielberg) - from their lists, films they've produced, distributed, restored. I have learned not a thing from the MCU save how cheaply you can buy loyalty.
— Walter Chaw 周瑜 (@mangiotto) November 23, 2022
Some Twitter users pointed out that Liu simply doesn’t have the filmography to post such a comment.
Peoples problems w Simu Liu is he carries himself like he’s Jackie Chan when all he did was star in a marvel movie where he was outshined by a more charismatic actor. Guy goes to bed at night clenching his jaw at the fact he can’t be considered the first Asian anything in film 💀
— siam (@sighyam) November 23, 2022
Yes they absolutely do. You do not have the filmography to defend yourself like this pic.twitter.com/lGf3fbpKG4
— Josh (@AstroCloud_) November 22, 2022
Others noted that Scorsese established the World Cinema Project, a nonprofit that promotes films from around the world.
Yeah I’ve seen the Simu Liu tweets. I’m not even gonna acknowledge his statement about Scorsese who literally created the World Cinema Project or Tarantino who’s always elevated Asian cinema and POC led films. Instead I’m just gonna remind us of this great moment. Be like Bong… pic.twitter.com/XioMTLY5oR
— Giovanni Lago (@TheGiovanniLago) November 22, 2022
While Liu faced some backlash for his tweet, Scorsese and Tarantino have also previously received criticism for their own work.
According to CNN, Scorsese has dodged questions about why his films don’t feature many female actors. Tarantino, meanwhile, has been criticized for Bruce Lee’s portrayal in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and the way women are violently treated in some of his films.