One of the newest stars of the MCU is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' Simu Liu. His tenure as the Master of Kung Fu started last year, and he'll no doubt go on to see many more appearances in various films within the next few years. A sequel to his solo project has not yet been announced and neither has the heroes' next cameo—maybe Captain America 4?
Either way, the moment someone enters the Marvel Cinematic Universe, their fanbase undoubtedly skyrockets. The spotlight grows bigger and hotter; one becomes the center of attention almost instantly.
While that can be good, as there are lots of great fans out there in the world, there is also an endless stream of toxic ones. Now, Liu has taken to social media to document and call out a recent experience he had with some bad seeds at a book signing event of his.
Toxic Autograph Seekers Beware of Simu Liu
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu took to Twitter to condemn the actions of a group of "professional autograph seekers" whom he had a bad altercation with at a book signing event for his recently released book, We Were Dreamers.
The star tweeted that "if you come to my events and harass me or make me or my fans uncomfortable, there's no chance in hell I'm going to sign for you:"
"Had a not-great altercation at the end of my book event in Philly. Look, I'm trying to have a real moment with my audience. If you come to my events and harass me or make me or my fans uncomfortable, there's no chance in hell I'm going to sign for you. Don't cross that line."
He had snapped a photo of the folks who caused issues, which was blurry and showed only the outline of someone in the driver's seat. Liu described the scene, saying that "[those] professional autograph seekers followed [them] out of the Philly event and then threw soda on our window." The star also confirmed that he has filed a police report with local authorities and is seeking to press charges against the harassers:
"Best photo that I could get but these professional autograph seekers followed us out of the Philly event and then threw soda on our window. They then ran to their car to remove the front license plate so we couldn’t ID them. Thankfully we had someone at the event venue documenting so we will get them and file a report with authorities. Obviously, everyone is fine but we’re just a bit shook that this could happen."
On his Instagram stories, Liu explained how those people simply wanted an autograph so that they could turn around and sell it. He mentioned how "sometimes [they] do it, but [he doesn't] personally like to reward certain types of behavior... especially when the people get aggressive and invasive:"
“Autographing for people who will just resell it on eBay is a personal choice. Sometimes we do it, but I don’t personally like to reward certain types of behavior... especially when the people get aggressive and invasive and make my real fans and supporters uncomfortable... I’ve had a couple of bad experiences in a row where my personal space has been badly violated. Just know that if you cross that line for me or for my fans, there isn’t a chance in hell I’m ever gonna sign for you.”
Shang-Chi himself capped off his messages by saying on Twitter that while "it was just a couple of bottles of soda... it's indicative of a really toxic culture:"
"... at the end of the day it was just a couple bottles of soda but it's indicative of a really toxic culture of autograph seekers (not all, some) that are willing to cross personal boundaries just to make a buck. I'm not rewarding that behaviour.
Shang-Chi Star Is on the Hunt
It's completely understandable why the behavior described above would get to Simu Liu. It's unacceptable and is part of a toxic culture that is long overdue for a stern talking to. The real question is, will the seekers being reprimanded change anything?
Maybe not, but with Liu broadcasting this message across his platforms, they're at least being called out to the wider world. With the amount of influence and fans that the star has, the abhorrent behavior will be seen by lots of people across the globe.
Honestly, though, it's hard to see why people would act this way. Did they expect throwing soda at Liu's car would get them to stop and sign something? Or that someone as high profile as him wouldn't be documenting the entire exchange?
It's people like that who ruin opportunities for those who actually deserve it. Hopefully, the Shang-Chi star isn't completely turned off from engaging with his fans at events.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is streaming on Disney+.