People walk to an advertisement for the Disney film “Mulan” on September 8, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. REUTERS / Alexa Solum
Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong and Internet users in Taiwan and Thailand are among those who promoted the hashtags “#BoycottMulan” and “#BanMulan” on Twitter after the film’s launch this month on Disney’s streaming platform.
It will also be shown in China’s theaters – an increasingly important market for Hollywood studios – from Sept 11.
Criticism of a live-action remake of an animated version of 1998 began last year when Mulan’s star, mainland-born actress Liu Yifei, expressed support for the police in Hong Kong on social media, at the time surrounded by anti-government unrest was.
Liu did not immediately respond to a request for comment via his account on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site.
Those calling for a boycott of the film gained momentum this week over its links in the western region of Xinjiang, where China’s ban on ethnic Uygars and other Muslims has been criticized by some governments, including the United States and human rights groups.
According to social media posts, several state organizations in Xinjiang appeared in the film’s credits.
The Munich-based World Uyghur Congress tweeted on Monday, “In the new #Mulan, @Disney has thanked the Bureau of Public Safety in Trump, who has been involved in detention camps in eastern Turkistan.”
When asked about the reaction to the film’s shooting in Xinjiang, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian denied Beijing’s existence of re-education camps in the area, calling on vocational and educational institutions there to reinforce their Xinjiang policy on China’s forces Accused of smearing.
Activist Wong accused Disney of “attacking” Disney, citing the film’s credits, citing the endorsement of Liu and another actor in China and state organizations in Xinjiang.
“We urge people around the world to boycott the new Mulan film,” he told Reuters on Tuesday.
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The film is reported to cost $ 200 million to produce, which was scheduled to reach theaters in March, but its release was delayed by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Last month, Disney said that Mulan would leave most of theaters and go directly to its Disney + platform.
However, it is set to premiere in Chinese theaters from Friday, and the studio hopes to do it better than the animated version of 20 years ago.
The release, dubbed “Kundan” after Disney’s relationship with China was delayed, was a 1997 film based on the life of the exiled Dalai Lama, which China has made a dangerous separatist brand.
In February, director Nikki Caro told the Hollywood Reporter that Disney had tested the film with Chinese audiences, removing a kissing scene between Mulan and her love interest following backlash from its Chinese authorities.
Brenda Goh in Shanghai, Cheyut Setabonsarge in Bangkok, Yoyo Chow, Alexander Solum and Marius Zaharia in Hong Kong, Chen Lin in Singapore, Hyeong Yang in Seoul, Phuong Gugyen in Hanoi, Ben Blanchard in Taipei, Kate Cadell in Beijing and reporting. Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Tony Munro and Mike Collett-White