There Are Calls To Boycott ‘Mulan’ After Its Star Weighed In On The Hong Kong Protests

The star of Disney's upcoming live-action Mulan has weighed in on Hong Kong's protests, provoking widespread criticism and calls for a boycott.

Yifei Liu as Mulan

The star of Disney’s upcoming live-action Mulan has weighed in on Hong Kong’s protests, provoking widespread criticism and calls for a boycott.

On Wednesday, Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei shared an image from China’s government-run newspaper People’s Daily to social media site Weibo

“I support Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now,” it read, a quote from Global Times reporter Fu Guohao (Global Times is owned by People’s Daily). The quote was followed by the English sentence, “What a shame for Hong Kong.”

Fu became a hero for critics of Hong Kong’s protests earlier this week, after being tied up and beaten by protesters who believed him to be a police spy.

The incident severely tried the general goodwill extended toward the demonstrators internationally. It also inspired the hashtag “#IAlsoSupportTheHongKongPolice”, which Liu attached to her post.

Now another hashtag has been born: #BoycottMulan.

In reaction to Liu’s comments, a campaign to boycott her upcoming film Mulan quickly caught on, with online commenters claiming that her values are at odds with the heroine she portrays. Many have accused Liu of supporting police brutality, as numerous reports out of Hong Kong allege that the police have used excessive force in handling the protests.

Some have further called Liu tone deaf, pointing out that her American citizenship grants her the democracy and freedom of expression that Hong Kong’s protesters are fighting to keep.

Artwork of Mulan with an injured eye or eyepatch has also begun circulating on social media. The eyepatch became a symbol of the Hong Kong protests after the August 11 protests at Tsim Sha Tsui, when police allegedly shot a woman in the eye with a beanbag round.

The Guardian reports that the injured woman is believed to be a volunteer medic, and may have lost some vision due to the incident.

Hong Kong’s ongoing protests were initially in reaction to the now-suspended extradition bill. If passed, the bill would allow the Hong Kong government to extradite people to other territories absent an extradition agreement — including China.

Many feel the enactment of this bill would erode Hong Kong’s autonomy, effectively placing it under Chinese jurisdiction. Though Britain handed over sovereignty of Hong Kong to China in 1997, Hong Kong’s legal and political systems remain largely independent.

Going into the eleventh week of demonstrations, protesters are now demanding the release of arrested protesters and an independent investigation into the conduct of the Hong Kong police, as well as the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill.

Mulan is scheduled to hit Australian cinemas on 26 March 2020.