KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 —  Canadian actor Simu Liu is trying to downplay comments from a 2017 interview that resurfaced recently where he called China a third world country.

In an Instagram story post, Liu, who has been thrust in the limelight for starring in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, said the film has received support “from parts of the world — including people from China.

He went on to blame the media for “turning us against each other”, the Toronto Sun reported.

“But I have seen the kindness and the empathy that all people possess.

“And I know that we have fans from all over the world who cannot wait to watch our movie and make history with us.”

Before ending the post by thanking Marvel fans in China and all around the world, Liu said one will find positivity or toxicity on social media depending on what one is looking for. 

This is not the first time Liu has stirred controversy. 

Earlier this year, the actor posted a scathing message to his Facebook page in which he criticised the CBC for the abrupt cancellation of sitcom Kim’s Convenience.

The offensive clip showing the 32-year-old calling China a third world country was from an interview for the 150th anniversary of Canada, which was recently shared by pro-China online forum Diba. 

In the interview, the Harbin-born actor reportedly said his parents told him about the living conditions when they were in China. 

“They lived in the third world where you have people dying of starvation,” he had said. 

Although Shang-Chi set a North America box office record during its opening recently, it has been snubbed in China.

There has been no official explanation as to why the movie is not released there yet but speculation is rife that Beijing has taken issue with the racist origins of the Shang-Chi comic book.

Hong Kong actor Tony Leung’s villainous Wenwu (originally named the Mandarin) was believed to be inspired by Dr Fu Manchu, a fictional character that’s now considered a racist Chinese caricature.