A CNET review of the newly-released “Charlie’s Angels” film mixed up Australian actor Chris Pang with “Kim’s Convenience” star Simu Liu.
The review referenced Pang’s villainous character, Jonny Smith, stating:
“From the outset, Stewart’s Sabina tackles the previous films’ baggage when it comes to women being exploited for their sexuality. Wearing a wavy blond wig and tight dress, she discusses female independence and how being underestimated is an advantage in the spy profession, before flipping Simu Liu’s misogynistic Australian thug onto his head.”
@SimuLiu ‘s misogynistic Australian thug here – sup? What’d I miss?
— Chris Pang (@pangerz) November 15, 2019
Just don’t expect me to be in it… @Pangerz is way more handsome.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) November 14, 2019
The mistake was caught by Liu, who was announced earlier this year to be Marvel’s lead in the upcoming film “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
Liu wrote on Twitter, “Hey @CNET, either you got the wrong Asian or I’m misreading the sentence and you’re actually referring to @pangerz as MY Australian thug. If it is the latter… carry on.”
Soon afterward, Pang himself chimed in, writing, “@SimuLiu ‘s misogynistic Australian thug here – sup? What’d I miss?” making light of the situation.
Despite reacting casually to the mixup, Pang later spoke to Huffington Post Australia about how these instances can be harmful to Asian American communities.
“The exposure we are finally receiving is progress towards normalizing the image of groups that we represent – and repeated mistakes like this, while unintentional, are still emblematic of the systemic disrespect we face,” he said. “It trivializes hard-won progress.”
Despite the success of films like “Crazy Rich Asians,” various publications commonly misidentify and misattribute Asian actors. As Pang stated, while such an act can seem subtle, it can effectively negate their accomplishments and imply that Asian actors are interchangeable.
hi @voguemagazine –
Both of these women have been misidentified on your site tonight.
Tan Kheng Hua NOT Michelle Yeoh.
Gemma Chan NOT Liv Lo. #SAGAwards pic.twitter.com/nUao4euV9Z
— NOOR (@NTagouri) January 28, 2019
Most recently, Vogue mistook Tan Kheng Ha, who portrayed Rachel’s mother Kerry Chu, for Michelle Yeoh, who played Eleanor Young. Actress Gemma Chan, who played Astrid Leong, was also mistaken for Liv Lo, Henry Golding’s real-life wife.
.@people Jae W Suh is not in this photo. I’m not Randall Park. And that’s Tan Kheng Hua not Michelle Yeoh. pic.twitter.com/vwSBvdnhIl
— Ronny Chieng (@ronnychieng) January 29, 2019
To the journalists consistently at fault, I refuse to believe you’ve never mistaken a Bomer for a Cavill, an Adams for a Fisher, a Hemsworth for a Hemsworth and yet it happens ALL the time with PoC – *particularly* Asian performers and it’s always just an ‘honest mistake’
— Remy Hii (@RemyHii) January 28, 2019
Just days earlier, People magazine was called out by “Daily Show” correspondent and “Crazy Rich Asians” actor Ronny Chieng, who noticed that several people in a photo were misidentified, including himself and his wife who were labeled as Randall Park and Jae W. Suh.
This was not the first time People magazine has made such a mistake, however, as they faced backlash for a 2013 report on Sergey Brin’s affair with a half Chinese employee, in which they used a stock image of the wrong Asian woman.
Again in 2008, they interviewed Korean actor and singer Rain regarding his role in the film “Speed Racer.” However, the photo accompanying the short interview was not that of Rain, but actually Karl Yune who played a minor role in the film.
Thanks for the catch! Our review has now been updated. (Also, we can’t wait to see you in Shang-Chi 🎉) https://t.co/cvJaC2nUys
— CNET (@CNET) November 14, 2019
CNET eventually responded to Liu’s tweet after correcting the error, writing, “Thanks for the catch! Our review has now been updated. (Also, we can’t wait to see you in Shang-Chi)“
“Charlie’s Angels” actor Pang had previously spoken with Huffington Post regarding the significance of his role as Jonny Smith, explaining that he has had to play “a bad guy with an Asian accent before” so he “wanted to change it up.”
Pang’s new character is said to be far from the caricature-like “Asian villain” Hollywood has portrayed in the past.