Disney’s live action movie “Mulan” has been embroiled in controversy recently after its release in September. Although many were looking forward to this movie, the public was not satisfied after discovering that the movie was filmed near Muslim concentration camps in China. Further outrage was sparked when it was revealed that the actress for the role of Mulan, Liu Yifei, was a supporter of the Hong Kong police during the Hong Kong protests.
“I was first excited to hear when Disney announced that they were going to make a live action movie of Mulan,” said Claire Kim (11), avid fan of movies. “I was disappointed when I heard about the controversies that the movie was facing regarding the location where the movie was filmed, and even the actress herself. I have not watched the movie yet, but due to those controversies, I am still debating whether or not I should watch it.”
“Mulan” is a real life action movie based on Disney’s original animation “Mulan” that was released in 1998. As a very popular Disney princess movie, Disney fans were excited to see how Yifei would play Mulan, a brave and independent character. However, it was discovered that Yifei shared a post from a Beijing newspaper on her Weibo, a Chinese social media website, which showed support for the Hong Kong police and the violence they used against protestors. Furthermore, the film was initially praised for its intense action scenes and vivid landscape shots, but the audience was disappointed once again after finding out that the Xinjiang region, one of locations where the movie was filmed, was where the Chinese government held Muslim minorities in concentration camps.
“I believe that the controversy surrounding Mulan shows how inconsiderate the filmmakers were of the worldwide audience,” said Erin Lee (12), fan of Disney. “Knowing the controversies in mind, many people might feel uncomfortable watching the movie, which could eventually limit the success of the movie. I also saw many boycotts of the movie on social media due to how controversial it is, which has a severe negative impact on movies.”
Such consecutive controversies consequently led to calls to boycott “Mulan.” Words in social media spread quickly with numerous users on Twitter tweeting #Boycott Mulan, criticizing Disney for their carelessness and negligent consideration of the controversies that exposed the dark realities behind the filming of “Mulan.” In addition, the movie has been receiving poor reviews from audiences and the press, resulting in low ticket sales. Due to the controversies and boycotts, along with the current situation with the pandemic, Disney’s latest live action film that they hoped to be a big hit has not been able to thrive in the cinemas.