This is why people are boycotting the live action Mulan film
#BoycottMulan has been trending on Twitter
Over the weekend, Disney+ dropped the live-action Mulan film and made it available for £19.99 before it’s wider release on December 4.
Since the movie was released, people have been calling for others to boycott it. This isn’t for reasons we’d expect, or anything minor like Disney charging its subscribers a heft twenty quid or the differences between the original animation and live-action. There’s a much bigger reason why people are calling for a boycott. Here’s what’s been going on with the #BoycottMulan conversation.
It all started in August 2019 when the actress who plays Mulan in the live action movie, Liu Yifei, controversially declared her support of Hong Kong’s law enforcement. Her publicly declared support for the police comes after they were accused showing of police brutality to pro-democracy protestors in 2019.
She openly and publicly stated her support of the Hong Kong law enforcement
Liu Yifei posted on a Chinese social media site Weibo, saying “I also support Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now.” The Guardian reported that Liu added a line in English, saying: “What a shame for Hong Kong.” It was reported that Liu has over 65 million followers on her Chinese social media platform that could have seen these posts.
Her comments have resurfaced due to the movie’s release and people are angry with her for seemingly speaking out against democracy protests in China. Liu was also born in China but she moved to the US when she was young. Her being an American citizen has made boycotters even more upset due to the belief that she cannot fully understand the struggle of those caught up in China versus Hong Kong protests.
This film is released today. But because Disney kowtows to Beijing, and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorses police brutality in Hong Kong, I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan. https://t.co/utmP1tIWNa
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) September 4, 2020
When the film was released, activist Joshua Wong tweeted, “This film is released today. But because Disney kowtows to Beijing, and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorses police brutality in Hong Kong, I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan.”
The producer of Mulan said he isn’t ‘qualified’ to discuss why people are calling to boycott the film
The producer of Mulan and Disney executive Jason T. Reed recently commented on the recent controversy surrounding the movie. He told Yahoo Finance: “I think that first off, it’s a very complication situation for performers who live in China and work in China.
“Obviously the tensions between the two entities is very complicated. I’m not qualified to discuss that in-depth. I’m here to represent the film. But I will say from a very personal place, no one worked harder and gave more of themselves than Yifei did. She trained for six months prior to starting production – horse riding, martial arts, practicing creating that character.”
if u support universal human rights,
if u hate police brutality,
If u believe artists, actors/actresses and companies shall carry social responsibilities,
if u respect Asians and refuse seeing us as money mining market and tokens.
— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) September 5, 2020
On Twitter, people have been using the hashtag “#BoycottMulan” to raise awareness and call out Liu for endorsing police brutality. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there have also been demands to boycott Disney and Disneyland.
One Twitter user Tweeted saying that Liu Yifei doesn’t stand for the same things as the character she plays, and so cannot accurately represent Mulan in the film. She Tweeted: “Isn’t it ironic that Mulan represents empowerment and selflessness but the actress who plays the role in support for police brutality and suppression of democracy in Hong Kong…#BoycottMulan.”
isn't it ironic that mulan represents empowerment and selflessness but the actress who plays the role is in support for police brutality and suppression of democracy in hong kong… #BoycottMulan https://t.co/e3Q496ZYXs
— berry (@sonskynie) September 6, 2020
The tweets are often accompanied by the additional hashtag “#milktealliance”, a leaderless pro-democracy movement based in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand named after a shared love of the drink. Naturally, the movement opposes the police brutality shown in Hong Kong and therefore opposes Liu Yifei’s comments too.
Mulan was originally set for release in cinemas in the UK and the US on 27th March 2020, but its release was pushed back and eventually made online due to the pandemic.