Just a month’s away from its upcoming release in March 2020, Disney’s upcoming live-action version of its 1998 animated movie Mulan is facing another backlash from many.
For reasons that have little to do with the movie, Mulan is now the target of protestors from Hong Kong. The lead actor of Mulan, Liu Yifei, posted a photo quoting Fu Guahao, a reporter for the People’s Daily, who said, “I support the police. You can attack me now”, while being tied up by protestors on Tuesday. Yifei, who has almost 66 million followers on the social networking platform Weibo, also wrote a caption in Chinese: “I support Hong Kong Police; you can beat me up now.”. She also wrote in English: “What a shame for Hong Kong.”
In less than a day, Yifei’s post was liked 78,000 times and was shared and retweeted nearly 69,000 times.
The protest movement, which began in June, was in response to a controversial extradition bill which would allow local authorities to detain and extradite those who are wanted in places that Hong Kong does not have an agreement with, such as Taiwan and China. If ratified, this bill would also make it legal for them to stand trial in other countries including China.
The pro-police stance of Yifei is wildly at odds with the views of tens and thousands of the citizens of Hong Kong who has been demonstrating in the streets for months and clashed with police numerous times.
This comment by the actor did not sit well with the protestors as it has spurred calls to boycott the new movie with hashtags as #BoycottMulan. After gaining enormous reacts on Weibo, this hashtag has now spread to other social media sites as well, including the likes of Twitter and Instagram.
Now, China accounts for a significant portion of international box office grosses and Hong Kong’s proximity to Chinese box office means that it would be a major concern for the film should this trend continues to garner support.
Mulan is a movie which revolves around the character Mulan who disguises herself as a man to fight for her country as it is threatened by Hun invaders.
Also, one must not forget that this movie already faced various issues prior to this. First, its script was leaked in the year 2016 and then there was the confusion with the trailer as this turned the animated musical movie to an action-packed one.