Disney has inadvertently become part of the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Demonstrators are calling for a boycott of the upcoming live action remake of the animation classic Mulan after the Sino-American protagonist Liu Yifei joined the Hong Kong police on social media.
“I support the Hong Kong police, you can beat me up now”
“I support the police in Hong Kong, you can beat me up now,” said a message on the Chinese platform Weibo. And: “What a shame for Hong Kong.” Liu added the hashtag #IAlsoSupportTheHongKongPolice, including heart emoticon.
The messages went down the wrong way for many and soon the hashtag became #BoycottMulan trending. Several users on Twitter and Instagram do not understand that the actress supports “police violence and repression in Hong Kong” and finds that she violates Mulan’s character.
People in Hong Kong have been taking to the streets for months. They fear that the government has accepted an actual takeover by Beijing of the relatively independent former British colony. When Hong Kong was transferred to China in 1997, it was agreed that it would be autonomous until at least 2047 with a Western system that is much freer than that in the People’s Republic of China. In Hong Kong, China is seen as ‘abroad’. On Friday, thousands of people again protested in Hong Kong.
Liu Yifei and Disney have not yet responded to the call for a boycott. The new version of Mulan should appear in the cinema next year.