Chinese Canadian actor and Marvel star Simu Liu is set to host the upcoming Time 100 Gala TV special in June.
“Time100: The World’s Most Influential People,” which will be filmed at the Time 100 Gala on June 8, will feature moments from the event and profile honorees from the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Time 100 lists. The hour-long special will air on June 12.
In a press release, Liu said: “As an Asian-Canadian immigrant kid who grew up in a suburb outside Toronto, I never imagined that I would one day share a dinner table with some of the most influential individuals in the world.”
“I’m looking forward to speaking about our successes but also about our shared responsibility to use our platforms and our influence to improve the world. I’m grateful to TIME for entrusting me with the opportunity to be an integral part of this special evening.”
Liu was announced as one of the five cover stars of the publication’s annual Time 100 issue earlier this month.
In a heartfelt Instagram post last week, the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star highlighted the Time feature, which coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
“There is no caption that exists to articulate what I am feeling to be included among such legendary and exceptional people,” he wrote. “But what if this moment isn’t about me at all? What if I’m merely a conduit to a much more impactful discussion about a group of people who have struggled to feel seen, respected, and equal?”
“If I happen to be an instrument, a passing storm that changes the tides this particular year, then so be it. I will make as much thunder and lightning as I can while the clouds are here,” he added.
In her Time 100 profile about Liu, fellow Asian Canadian actor Sandra Oh wrote: “He’s part of the first generation of Asian Americans and Canadians to reach true stardom. He’s our superhero.”
According to Dan Macsai, vice president of Time Events and editorial director of the Time 100, Liu was selected to host the TV special because “he [has] had a breakout year leading one of the most successful films of 2021” and has also “spoke out on major issues, truly harnessing the power of his influence for good.”
This year’s primetime special will mark the first time that the gala and all of its attendees will be featured on TV.
“In addition to the truly amazing moments captured exclusively inside the 2022 TIME 100 Gala, the broadcast will also feature in-depth behind-the-scenes storytelling of the honorees,” said Ian Orefice, president and chief operating officer of Time and Time Studios.