HomeBad Ass AsiansShannon Lee: Warrior Mirrors Issues of society Today

Shannon Lee: Warrior Mirrors Issues of society Today

By Erin Chew, AsAmNews Staff Writer

Warrior, a cable show inspired by an eight page treatment written by Bruce Lee, will debut season 2 on Friday, October 2.

Lee’s daughter Shannon together with Warrior fellow executive producers Justin Lin and Jonathan Tropper have bought the story her father wanted to tell to life. Season 2 promises to be just as action-packed and “risky” as season 1. It is just an awesome spectacle to see a series led by Asian characters which are multi layered and complex.

“Season 2 is a more antagonistic, heightened, challenging and an upgraded version of season 1,” Lee told AsAmNews. “There is conflict between different factions, tongs (gangs), police, Irish laborers, politicians and agendas of characters in each group. This is basically an amazing, rich and complex recipe which goes through season 2 and if you think about it, it is so relevant to today’s situation where we are all being pitted against each other depending on what our skin color is and those who are leaders or who have influence are showing their own self interests.”

The story is set in the mid -1800s Chinatown, a time of deep unrest for the Chinese under the racially motivated legislation known as the Chinese Exclusion Act. This was a story, which Bruce Lee wanted to tell, but never got to complete outside an eight page treatment.

His daughter mentioned that even though Warrior is a fictional story, it is set in a time which existed in history with anti-Asian/Chinese racism running rampant. How scary is it that the situation of the mid 1800s is a mirror image of what has and is still happening today with the anti Asian/Chinese racism due to COVID-19.

“It is incredibly disheartening, yet not surprising that things haven’t changed much in the span of two hundred years or so. But let’s not forget that anti-Asian/Chinese racism has never left, it has just transformed to fit in with the times. I believe if you are a person who has a tendency to point fingers at someone or if you were raised to believe there are hierarchies of humans and you feel this has somehow impacted on how you live your life then you will hate and cause division.”

“Unfortunately, these ideas are pervasive in humanity and they really need to change. Anti-Asian/Chinese racism at all levels currently is an echo and shows us that things have not really changed and that there are those like I mentioned who “point fingers” who are willing to demonize others out of fear as a response to make themselves feel better”

Warrior with Hoon Lee
Photograph by David Bloomer/Cinemax

Her father broke down many barriers in Hollywood despite the times he lived in. Lee describes her father as someone who didn’t see martial arts as a stereotype but more as a passion and a labor of love, and he used his craft as a martial artist, as an actor and a writer to change the narrative and set the pace for future generations.

“The series definitely channels the spirit and soul of my father as the story comes from his heart, mind and soul. My father was forward thinking and wanted to leave future generations of Asians a template to follow. He had a particular imprint when it comes to action and humor. The series does of course have great martial art action which is within the imprint of my father (very scrappy and real), but more importantly it confronts many conflicts and complex issues.”

“Even though my father himself may be perceived as a “stereotype” by today’s standards as a martial artist, like myself he is/was no fan of stereotypes. He wanted his branding to push the envelope and that was relevant whether he was performing or acting and it is reflected in his writing. To him, martial arts challenged him and taught him about life and this is the essence and soul he brings to the “Warrior” series.”

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