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Should people boycott Disney’s live-action Mulan? Show more Show less
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Disney's 2020 live-action adaptation of their 1998 animated film Mulan sparked excitement and controversy. The 1998 animated film is a beloved Disney classic. While Disney intended the 2020 live-action remake to appeal to both American and Chinese audiences, the film incited a call for boycotts (#BoycottMulan) from human rights activists.

Yes, people should #BoycottMulan Show more Show less

Despite the film's large budget, all-Asian cast, and high expectations, people should not watch Disney's 2020 remake. The film potentially supports human rights violations against protesters in Hong Kong and Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China. The film also lacks Asian representation behind the camera.
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The lead actor in Disney's live action Mulan supports Hong Kong police brutality

Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan, publicly posted her support for the Hong Kong police, who have been using force against the Anti-Extradition Bill protesters. Supporting the film means supporting anti-democracy and police brutality.

Context

In 2019, anti-China protests following the proposed Extradition Bill caused fears of greater suppression and encroachment from mainland China. The authorities in Hong Kong were heavily criticised for handling the protests with brutality, hence it is a sore point for many that the lead actor of Mulan would show support for the police.

The Argument

Lead actress Liu Yifei reposted a viral pro-police comment on Chinese social media platform Weibo from the government-run Beijing newspaper People's Daily that read (in Chinese): "I also support Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now" and adding in English: "What a shame for Hong Kong."[1] Her post flies in the face of the real grievances that Hong Kongers have with Beijing. That such support comes from the lead of a movie that was branded as Asian representation makes her words more harmful. Furthermore, Liu Yifei holds American citizenship which has led to further backlash with proponents of the boycott pointing out that she probably accesses liberal freedoms in the USA which are being deprived of people in Hong Kong.

Counter arguments

The situation in Hong Kong is politically charged and it follows that there will be individuals who align with one side over the other. Liu Yifei's support for Hong Kong police is not grounds for a boycott of the movie, given that the actress was expressing her personal views on her personal social media platforms. There is also a separation between artists and the art they produce. Mulan remains a potent film created by individuals external to her and other cast and crew who do not deserve to bear the brunt of the lead's personal views.

Proponents

Framing

The insensitivity of the post is reason enough to boycott the whole movie.

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49373276

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This page was last edited on Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 00:58 UTC

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