Hong Kong Protesters Push Boycott of Disney’s ‘Mulan’ After Star States Support for Police Crackdown
Disney’s live-action “Mulan” film has become an unlikely battleground for the fight against Beijing’s authoritarian rule after its main star, China-born Crystal Liu Yifei, retweeted a Chinese propaganda post in support of the police crackdown on mass anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
On the Twitter-like Weibo social media platform where Liu has nearly 66 million followers, the actress retweeted an image from the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, that reads, “I support the Hong Kong police; you can beat me up now” in Chinese and “What a shame for Hong Kong” below in English. She also re-iterated campaign’s hashtag: “I also support the Hong Kong Police” with a heart and strong-arm emoji. The post has been liked 78,000 times since it went up yesterday and retweeted nearly 69,000 times. Most of the comments are just echoes of the same: “Love you, I also support them!”
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all blocked by China’s strict censorship regime, but they’ve all been inundated with calls to “#BoycottMulan.” Liu’s own Instagram comments have now become a showdown between pro-Beijing and pro-Hong Kong factions, a mess of Chinese and Hong Kong flag emojis where once only hearts and flowers proliferated.
One incensed fan there wrote, “Liu Yifei, you are the MULAN ACTRESS how come you support POLICE BRUTALITY IN HONG KONG, ESPECIALLY TOWARDS WOMEN?”
Another directed expletives at Disney for their casting choice, before telling Liu, “I’m Chinese by heritage, but I don’t associate with your fascist beliefs. Sorry you have a warped view of reality from consuming bullshit Chinese propaganda…. New York supports you Hong Kong.”
With just 7-odd million residents to China’s 1.4 billion, Hong Kong is a drastically smaller market than the mainland, but those pushing for the boycott hope it will catch on internationally as the protesters seek global support and sympathy for their pro-democracy movement.