Memos from Asia

Dishonor to us all? – Why Do Hong Kong People Call for #boycottMulan?

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Recently, Disney+ released the live-action remark of the animated classic Mulan. This supposed to be an honor to Chinese people, however, Hong Kong people seem to be a bit outrageous about it. The Hong Kong people called for #boycottMulan on different social media platforms since last year. The reason behind the act is the pro-democratic protest which lasts for a year in Hong Kong.

Lead Actress’s social media post sparked backlash

The controversy starts from last year’s August, the star heroine LiuYifei shared a post of “I support the Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now.” on the Chinese Twitter Weibo. In her follow-up post, Liu confirmed her stance, writing, “I also support the Hong Kong police.” This caused the discontent of Hong Kong people. The people believed that the Hong Kong police has enforced excessive violence towards Hong Kong protestors, including beating up citizens without warning and sexually harassing female protestors. They think Liu’s act is a violation of human rights as she supports violence and brutality of the Hong Kong police. Some commented that her act is against democracy and freedom and is a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party. The netizens then call for the boycott of the live-action film Mulan, which supposed to be released on March 2020. The act is followed by many netizens who give concern to Hong Kong.

Strong backlash after the release of the film

Mulan is facing a bigger backlash after the final credits thanked government entities in Xinjiang. It is known that the province where Muslims have faced human rights abuses from the Chinese government including putting Uighur Muslims into so-called reeducation camps. The camps are indeed detaining Muslims and subjects to political indoctrination and forced labour. The film’s end credits names eight government entities in Xinjiang, including the public security bureau in the city of Turpan, where the country’s communist government is said to be operating more than a dozen “reeducation” camps. The credits also thank the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region Committee, an agency that is closely associated with indoctrination and propaganda efforts. Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong accused that Disney is “kowtowing” to China another actor’s support for Hong Kong police and the movie’s credits mentioning state organizations in Xinjiang.

According to the original schedule, the film should be on theatres this March but delayed due to COVID-19. The film is released theatrically in China already.

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