Disney’s Mulan star has sparked controversy by supporting the Hong Kong police. The new live-action remake of the classic Disney tale is set for a March 2020 release, and although the animated film didn’t reach the same heights as other animated Disney films from that era, Mulan remains a favorite to many.
As things currently stand, it seems as though Disney can do no wrong when it comes to its live-action remakes. Films such as Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Aladdin, and The Lion King have all been huge successes at the box-office. Even when reviews have been middling – as in the case of Jon Favreau’s recent Lion King adaptation – audiences have still arrived in tremendous numbers, helping to ensure that Disney remains content with its output. There are numerous live-action adaptations still to come from the Mouse House, among them the tale of Mulan, which follows a young woman who disguises herself as a man in order to join the Chinese army in place of her ailing father. Discovered early on by Captain Shang, Mulan is banished from the military, though she later returns to prove her worth.
The new adaptation of Mulan stars Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei as Mulan, with a cast that includes the likes of Jason Scott Lee and martial arts star Jet Li. Things were looking promising for the film, but now a bit of controversy could end up causing problems for Disney. According to Digital Spy, Yifei has angered many who support the protesters in the ongoing Hong Kong protests. Taking to the Chinese social media network Weibo, Yifei posted an image that displayed the Chinese text “I support the Hong Kong police. You can hit me too.” Beneath this in English, the image read, “What a shame for Hong Kong.” In addition to this, Yifei wrote her own message in Chinese that read “I also support the Hong Kong police.”
The reaction to this has been swift, with many on social media calling out the star for her statement, while circulation of the hashtag #BoycottMulan began to trend on social media platforms such as Twitter. The leaderless Hong Kong protests have entered their 10thweek as of this writing and initially began with China attempting to push through an extradition bill that would see Hong Kong residents extradited to China to stand trial for crimes committed in Hong Kong. Though Hong Kong has officially been Chinese territory since the 1997 handover from British rule, Hong Kong has been run by a one country, two systems strategy. Protesters viewed the extradition law as further proof of China’s encroaching political reach over the island. The bill has since been suspended, but protesters demand it be taken off the table completely as well as an immediate inquiry into acts of police brutality during the protests.
While video footage from Hong Kong has shown police beating protesters and firing tear gas directly into crowds, the police still retain support from many. Some of these supporters include martial arts star Jackie Chan, who has also been criticized for his allegiance. It’s no secret that Disney depends on China for its box-office returns, particularly with a film like Mulan, which is based on Chinese folklore. With the protests showing no sign of abating any time soon, a Mulan boycott could indeed create considerable problems for Disney’s latest live-action remake.
Source: Digital Spy