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Fans React To Simu Liu's Refreshingly Honest Critique About Moon Knight's Arthur Harrow

With the first few episodes of "Moon Knight" hitting Disney+, fans of the character — and even Marvel Cinematic Universe actors themselves — have been watching the show play out at their own leisure. And some of them don't like what they see.

Actor Simu Liu — who portrays Shang-Chi in the MCU and speaks Mandarin Chinese – had an honest comment about the show's use of the language on his Twitter on April 9, 2022. "Alright Arthur Harrow needs to fire his Mandarin teacher," the actor posted, referring to Ethan Hawke's character. It soon became apparent to fans why the actor had a humorous if pointed critique about the Chinese spoken on the program. 

Twitter user @so_zhenwei declared that "there were ZERO Mandarin/Chinese words spoken" aloud by Hawke's character or any character purporting to use the language on the show, a point that at least one Mandarin speaker backed up. @so__Zhenwei then posted a video of the scene with the show's English closed captioning enabled, and as Hawke begins to speak the captions simply read "speaking Mandarin" instead of any discernable terms in either Chinese or English. The show's Chinese closed captioning, however, apparently translates what Harrow is supposed to be saying correctly.

Fans had a variety of different reactions to the scene and varying opinions about what Disney should do now.

Fans had mixed reactions to Harrow's use of Mandarin

A number of fans were upset or disappointed by the episode falling short when it comes to linguistic accuracy. "Apparently, the Mandarin in #MoonKnight was just gibberish, so, hey, @Marvel, do better," said @THEJordonBrown. "It was really really bad. They need a dialect coach," said @MJon30. "Are they speaking Klingon?" wondered @bayclamsweep. "As someone who has been studying Mandarin for a good while, I was incredibly confused watching that scene. That wasn't Mandarin, which is weird, because the MCU did a good job with Mandarin in Shang-Chi," said @DavidJohnsonVG. David was one of several fans who were confused as to why "Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings" made perfect use of Mandarin while "Moon Knight" was so derelict in its use of the same language.

Other viewers looked about for reasons why the scene may have played out the way it did. At least one fan posited that Harrow might have intentionally spoken an incorrect or even intentionally made-up dialect to confuse Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) and better suit his personal purposes. "Is it possible they were purposefully speaking nonsense, knowing that Steven wouldn't pick up on it? It makes no sense that a professional production would fake a language so many viewers would know," said @LarryLTrujillo.

One watcher suggested the way the scene used language could have summarily been an in-joke between Harrow and his friend. "[They've] created an insular community and are trying to learn other languages without tutors or native speakers. If you can actually tell it's nonsense, that means you're in on the joke," suggested @donnachadelong.

Fans can judge for themselves by watching the clip in question, which was posted by IGN on their YouTube page on April 5.