Sesame Street is introducing its first Asian-American muppet and it’s doing so with the help of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu. On Monday, Sesame Workshop announced the introduction of Ji-Young, a Korean American muppet who will make their debut on See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special that will debut on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25. The special will air on Cartoonito on HBO Max, PBS Kids, and Sesame Street’s YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

The special will follow the Sesame Street characters as they celebrate “Neighbor Day”, including Ji-Young, performed by Sesame Workshop puppeteer Kathleen Kim. The special will feature celebrity guests including Liu as well as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before‘s Anna Cathcart, DC Comics’ Jim Lee, and more.

“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Today, we uphold that mission by empowering children and families of all races, ethnicities, and cultures to value their unique identities,” Kay Wilson Stallings, Sesame Workshop’s Executive Vice President of Creative and Production said in a statement. “See Us Coming Together continues Sesame Street’s proud legacy of representation with an engaging story that encourages empathy and acceptance and uplifts Asian and Pacific Islander communities. With the generous support of The Asian American Foundation, Ford Foundation, and P&G/Pampers, we’re proud to bring this special to life.”

The special is also part of Sesame Workshop’s “Coming Together” initiative and will include an opportunity to talk about anti-Asian racism with Ji-Young experiencing another child telling her to “go home” off-screen. After the incident, Ji-Young seeks out friends and trusted grown-ups to help her know she’s exactly where she belongs. A viewing guide and materials for adults and children to do together will be available the week of the special.

“It’s a powerful thing when kids see people like themselves represented on screen and in stories-it supports them as they figure out who they are and who they want to be,” Alan Muraoka, longtime Sesame Street cast member and co-director of See Us Coming Together said. “We can’t wait for families to get to know Ji-Young-in this special and in future seasons of Sesame Street-and celebrate some of the Asian and Pacific Islander people in our neighborhood!”


A few months ago, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hit theaters (95%), and unlike Eternals (58%) – which divided critics and audiences – the film starring Simu Liu was a box office success and received praise from critics and fans. However, both films have something in common – they were banned in China by the government, and it is a pity in the case of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as it is a true tribute to the culture and cinema of that country.

Although it did not make it to theaters, many in China saw Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and they recognized how it addresses its traditions in an epic and respectful way. Globally, the film grossed US $ 430 million, and it is very likely that it would have been a success in the Asian country, given that most of the Marvel films triumph in the territory. There are several reasons why it was banned in China, but the best known are the character of Wenwu, inspired by Fu Manchú and El Mandarín, two problematic and racist representations.

For his part, he insists that one should not pay attention to politics or believe the tabloid headlines, as his Weibo (Chinese social network) is full of messages of love. This was the screenshot he shared in an Instagram story accompanied by this text.

The media only want to report on tabloid geopolitics. But my Weibo is absolutely full of messages of love and support like this one from our Chinese fans. Take away the government, politics, and rhetoric, and you find that we are not that different from each other.

Although most do not understand what the messages say in Chinese, the emojis of hearts and the actor’s words are enough to verify that the film was well received among the public in the country. Precisely today, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives at Disney Plus, so that it can be enjoyed by all those who have not seen it in theaters or by those who long to see it again. We hope that the sequel and its release date will be confirmed soon.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand and reveal new threats that are beyond what The Avengers have faced thus far. In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, we had a post credits scene where we are shown that the rings sent a signal that alerted such important characters as Wong, Doctor Strange’s assistant, and Captain Marvel. It is believed that this signal will alert its true owner, an extraterrestrial being, where its powerful artifacts are located.

On the other hand, in Eternals, we saw the potential new villain of the franchise, the Celestial known as Arishem, the Judge, as big as a planet, and apparently with a power that goes beyond what has been seen so far. How will Marvel heroes deal with these threats? Although there are very powerful characters on the side of the good guys, it seems that they will have to join forces to take on the new villains.

This year, three Marvel Studios films and four series have already been released, the fourth series with Hawkeye will arrive very soon, and in December we will have Spider-man: no way home, which promises to be as big as Avengers: Endgame.


The star of ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ discusses confronting Asian stereotypes with his next project, the romantic drama ‘One True Loves’: ‘It’s always been important to me to constantly challenge people’s perceptions of myself’

As Marvel’s newest superhero, Simu Liu flexed a lot of skills (and muscle) in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: martial arts, comedy and, as a traumatized son reuniting with his estranged father, drama. The Canadian actor’s latest film, One True Loves, will show he can also play the romantic leading man.

The adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2016 novel centers on Emma (Hamilton star Phillipa Soo), whose husband Jesse (Luke Bracey of the 2015 Point Break remake) goes missing on their first wedding anniversary and is eventually presumed dead. Years later, Emma is engaged to Sam (Liu) when Jesse suddenly resurfaces. Reid and her husband, Alex Jenkins Reid, wrote the screenplay, with Andy Fickman (She’s the Man) directing.

Highland Film Group, which is co-financing the feature alongside Blue Rider Pictures, is representing international rights. HFG’s domestic arm The Avenue will release One True Loves domestically.

Liu was invited to choose between the film’s two leading men when producer Sarah Finn (who also serves as casting director for the Marvel Cinematic Universe) passed him the script. In an email interview, he shared with The Hollywood Reporter how he came to his decision and the values that matter to him in strategizing his ascendant career.

An actor’s immediate post-Marvel moves are always extremely important and closely watched. What made One True Loves the right project for you to take on as one of your post-Shang-Chi steps?

To quote Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different!” Coming off of an action/martial arts spectacle like Shang-Chi, I knew that much of the world was going to expect me to do more kung fu films. It’s always been important to me to constantly challenge people’s perceptions of myself, as well as of Asian people as a whole. While I celebrate legendary actors such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Bruce Lee, I know that my path is very different. I am not a master of kung-fu, after all; I am an actor who trained very hard to embody the character that I was hired to play. As such, I’m beyond excited to step into Sam’s shoes for this movie that I am deeply in love with.

In Taylor Jenkins Reid’s original novel, the main characters are white (or at least not Asian). So at what point in the process did that change?

When the script first reached my desk through Sarah Finn’s office (yes, THAT Sarah Finn!), I was not privy to any of the discussions that occurred prior. I knew that Phillipa was attached to play Emma, and I was being asked to read the script to consider playing either Sam or Jesse. This immediately excited me, because it showed me that the producers were looking past the surface level of these characters to what was underneath. When I read the script, I loved the arc between Sam and Emma and I felt that our ethnicities brought an added layer of depth to the story that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. And so, I chose! On our first Zoom call, I thanked Taylor for being willing to imagine a different Sam than she had initially written, and she looked at me like I was speaking in another language. She said that from the moment the idea had been presented to her, I became her one and only Sam. It truly meant the world to hear that!

When the casting was announced, you wrote that making these characters Asian was about “more than a face.” Can you share how you (as well as your filmmakers and castmates) worked to make your characters Asian American in identity, not just in appearance?

Many Asian actors will know the feeling of reading a script where the parts were not originally written for them. I liken it to buying a suit off the rack; I might really love a specific color or design of a suit but in order for me to be able to wear it and pull it off, I know that we need to make some adjustments. What I love that we did with the Emma character is that once the producers knew it was Phillipa, who of course is biracial, we cast the entire family to fit her, including Michaela Conlin and the amazing Lauren Tom. We also changed the art design of the family home to reflect the people who were living in it. For Sam, a lot of that work was internal for me. It was looking inwardly and saying, how would an Asian American man have reacted under the same circumstances? What are the things that would have crossed his mind that wouldn’t have been there if he was white?

Inasmuch as there have been real strides in Asian inclusion over the past three years, the fact that an Asian American male love interest is still notable speaks to the historic lack of representation in this area. Hopefully by now we don’t need to keep making the case for why it’s important to see Asian men as romantic partners, but do you want to explain it (again) for anyone who still doesn’t get it?

Well, I think it’s about reclaiming the narrative about both Asian men and women. We have both suffered at the hands of a system that did not uplift and empower us, and are just now beginning to have the ability to uplift and empower ourselves. So as much as I hear you about the importance of seeing Asian men as romantic partners, I think the greater goal is to just see Asian people as people – complete with dreams and aspirations, insecurities and secrets, who fall in love and get their hearts broken.

Let’s take the conversation a step deeper. You’ve talked to me before about the opportunity to define and introduce Asian American masculinity as an inclusive identity that doesn’t rely on narrow, reactionary tropes. Were there ways in which you were able to bring that vision to this role?

Sam flies in the face of a lot of traditionally masculine tropes. He’s gentle, kind, patient, and he often puts the needs of his partner before himself. His generosity and strength of character really impressed me upon my first read-through of the script, as well as his propensity for growth. Sam, like Simu, was a bit of an awkward kid in high school. It’s such a difficult time in so many people’s lives, and Sam and I just didn’t quite have all the pieces put together. But what I love about my own journey of personal growth is what I love about his. We figured ourselves out without blaming women or feeling the need to overcompensate. I think it’s telling that it took an incredible female storyteller like Taylor to envision a confident male character that was free from the toxicity that is sometimes associated with the traditional ideal of manliness or masculinity.

What types of stories and characters are you passionate about bringing to life now?

I want to play characters that people can connect to, and that continue to challenge people’s expectations of what Asian people can be. It sounds strange, but sometimes it feels like the most avant-garde thing I can do as an Asian actor is to play a human being. No martial arts, no stereotypes, no accent… just a flawed, messy, insecure human.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

According to a new report about the MCU’s upcoming slate of projects, Shang-Chi 2 is already in development and could film in 2023.

Shang-Chi 2 is reportedly already in development at Marvel Studios. Back in early September, the MCU’s second movie out of Phase 4, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, took the world by storm in its theatrical debut. Originally scheduled to release earlier this year, Shang-Chi quickly became a bona fide box office sensation, breaking Labor Day records in its first weekend to become the highest-grossing domestic movie of this year with $221 million at the time of this writing. The movie stars Simu Liu as the titular hero in his first live-action appearance and charts the history of his upbringing as it intersects with his present.

As with any Marvel project, a sequel has been extremely likely for Shang-Chi even before it premiered. It’s rare for the MCU to give a character just one solo project, and the post-credits scenes of Shang-Chi teased a much bigger future for Liu’s character. Marvel boss Kevin Feige confirmed just before the movie came out that he and his creative team already had ideas for Shang-Chi 2, and it looks like it’s finally becoming a reality.

According to GWW as part of a larger report on upcoming MCU projects, Shang-Chi 2 is now in development at Marvel Studios. Few details were given, but it’s said a 2023 production date is eyed for this sequel. This comes from the same report that announced a Thunderbolts movie is in development, along with a solo project for the Marvel hero Nova. Marvel has neither confirmed nor denied this report.

Assuming Shang-Chi 2 is still in very early development, it’s still unclear as to who could return for the sequel. Liu will almost certainly be back as Shang-Chi, and there’s a good chance Awkwafina and Meng’er Zhang will return as Katy and Xialing, respectively. On the creative side, hopefully Destin Daniel Cretton will be back in the director’s chair, though there is precedent for Marvel swapping directors from one movie to the next. Cretton has expressed interest in returning, though, so it seems likely he’ll be tapped for Shang-Chi 2.

With a potential 2023 production start on the table, Shang-Chi 2 might not release until 2024. That seems a long ways off, but it isn’t too shocking. The MCU is completely set for next year and already has a busy 2023 with movies like The Marvels, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. In the meantime, Shang-Chi could turn up in other MCU projects to keep his story going as the wait continues for his second solo movie. Hopefully, Marvel will see fit to reveal some details about Shang-Chi 2 soon.


With temperatures going back to single digits, it’s fair to say we are well and truly welcoming in autumn, and what better way to stay warm than with luxury outerwear brand Nobis. Known for their innovate jackets and cosy styles, the brand are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, and they’re enlisting Canadian actor Simu Liu as their new global brand ambassador. From his stand-out role in Kim’s Convenience to Marvel’s latest hit Shang-Chi and the Legends of The Ten Rings, the actor has brought his vision for representation and perspective to his new partnership with the brand, combining them with Nobis’ culture and ethos.

Speaking on the new venture, Liu said, “To me, this new adventure with Nobis is personal – it has provided me with the chance to help continue to pave the way for those who are denied opportunity based on their ethnicity, in ways that bring their voices and stories to the forefront. I truly stand behind Nobis and the notion of defying society’s parameters through fashion.”

Announcing the news alongside the introduction of a new collection, we see the brand redefine its classic silhouettes, incorporating contemporary styling that channels Simu’s authentic style.