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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.

No, people should watch Disney's live-action Mulan Show more Show less

The story of Mulan is an epic tale of courage, strength, and family honor. In addition, people should support stories that feature a strong woman lead and celebrate Asian representation in media.
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We should support Asian representation in media

The 1998 Disney animated film holds a special place in the hearts of Asian Americans who were glad to see themselves represented on screen, even if they were not necessarily of Chinese descent. Mulan (2020) features an all-Chinese cast and tells a beloved Chinese story; we should support authentic storytelling.

The Argument

Mulan should be welcomed as it is probably the only time that many children of Asian descent will see someone who looks like them on-screen whilst simultaneously shattering stereotypes of the submissive Asian woman. This is paramount as it is a continuation of the trend of having Asian representation be central in mainstream pop culture which has been spearheaded by the likes of Mindy Kaling and other producers and shows which have only gained prevalence in the last 5 or so years. Showing support for Mulan is a huge stride towards normalising positive Asian female representation in pop culture and turning the tides of historical white-washing and typecasting of Asian characters as seen in the 90s all the way to the early and mid-00s. The movie also comes on the backs of social media campaigns such as #MakeMulanRight which gained prominence on Twitter after the announcement of a Mulan remake by Disney - it is vital that minorities reap the fruits of their campaigns.[1]

Counter arguments

The Mulan remake is not a shining example of Asian representation. The movie still falls short of addressing the pressing issue of White individuals saturating movies' decision making. Although the cast is all Asian, the talent behind the camera is still overwhelmingly White despite the pressure from social media, signalling that the inclusivity of the movie is more akin to tokenism. [2] Additionally, there actually was a well-made 2009 live-action film version of the Chinese legend already in existence called Mulan: Rise of a Warrior which was created by an all-Chinese team, lending more cultural authenticity and depth to their rendition of Mulan's story.[3]

Proponents

Framing

Asian representation has historically been scant and Disney's live-action Mulan helps reverse that.

Premises

Disney's live-action Mulan was a good form of Asian representation and deserves audience support.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340296961_MakeMulanRight_Retracing_the_Genealogy_of_Mulan_from_Ancient_Chinese_Tale_to_Disney_Classic/link/5e82e940299bf1a91b8d1c27/download
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/mulan-film-gets-backlash-lack-asian-talent-behind-camera-n1157801
  3. https://avaazmedia.com/disneys-mulan-shows-us-why-we-need-better-asian-representation/

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This page was last edited on Monday, 28 Sep 2020 at 20:26 UTC