Marvel actor Simu Liu was at a book signing event in Philadelphia for his new memoir when an altercation with autograph seekers left him "shook."
Liu gained worldwide attention after dominating the box office last year as the first Asian superhero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
In May he released his memoir, We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story, in which he chronicled his journey from China, to Canada and eventually to the bright lights of Hollywood.
Because of his good guy reputation among fans and peers, many people looked forward to meeting the newly-minted superhero in person.
But he recently set hard limits on interacting with certain people after experiencing a disturbing encounter at his celebrity book signing.
“Had a not great altercation at the end of my book event in Philly,” Liu tweeted.
“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 shared a snapshot of the perpetrator's vehicle that had the front license plate removed to avoid identification.
Luckily, Liu said there was backup.
"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.”
Twitter users frowned upon the unfortunate incident and admonished those who seek dozens of autographs at a time only as a cash-grab opportunity.
The 33-year-old actor added:
“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.”
Senior pop culture editor for Uproxx, Josh Kurp, noted examples of egregious behavior he personally witnessed from professional autograph seekers—which included "carrying an obscene amount of posters or DVDs or headshots," and being "obnoxious and pushy."
"They’re no better than adults who steal foul balls," said Kurp.
"In fact, they’re worse, because they’re selling a Renée Zellweger-signed copy of Shark Tale, or whatever, on eBay."
We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Storyis the number one best seller on Amazon's Asian American Studies list.
Liu's "relatable" memoir has gotten favorable reviews for being an "honest meditation on the conflict-ridden cultural/generational gap and subsequent alienation."
One reader hailed the book "a triumph for immigrants everywhere, and an inspirational guide to reach for your dreams," and another reader praised him "for perhaps unintentionally becoming a leader and representative in the world of AAPI voices."