Even Disney could not have imagined such a scenario. Its new remake, Mulan , became a symbol of the conflict that divided the government and the hong Kong pro-democracy on a new law to allow the extradition of the former colony to mainland China. A tweet of support of the main actress of the film, Liu Yifei, supporting publicly the forces of riot police from hong Kong, has set fire to the powder.
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For several weeks, clashes of great violence took place in the streets of the territory between local police forces and protesters who demand the independence promised them upon their return under the fold of the chinese in 1997. Through a message posted on Weibo, equivalent of Twitter, the interpreter of Mulan, the character of the spearheads of the chinese government to justify its fight against the militants. “I support the Hong Kong police”, she declared on Weibo, followed by a émoji heart.
In China, but also in the United States, this post has created a great deal of controversy leading to a call for a boycott of the film, via the hashtag #BoycottMulan. The Disney image is also tainted, the firm being accused of engaging stakeholders supporting a regime considered repressive.
This attitude, moreover, is not in agreement with the values of the character that she portrayed on the screen. The dignity, courage and freedom characterize the character in the cartoon. Liu Yifei taking the advantage of a country that would trample on these principles has caused the anger of the fans of Disney. According to fans, the “real Mulan fights for his people and not against them”.
The REAL Mulan fights for her people, not fights against the people. #BoycottMulan pic.twitter.com/I8ODkyB9k8
— Rebeccacyn (@Rebeccacyn1) August 23, 2019
“#BoycottMulan, we can’t allow Disney to support the police violence towards children”, said one, while another assures us: “The spirit of Mulan is one of bravery, not of fighting citizens, with a force without limit”.
#BoycottMulan we can’t allow Disney to support police violence to children! pic.twitter.com/56OnZbEZc1
— Rosie (@RosieAquafina) August 17, 2019
How can she supports the Hong Kong police officers and government ban the protestors by intense violence while enjoying the freedom and Human Rights in the US?
The spirit of Mulan is about bravery, not fighting the citizens with unlimited force.#BoycottMulan pic.twitter.com/wIUom6UgDM
— (@Skating_laurie) August 19, 2019
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The counter-attack on the government
In response to this hashtag, the chinese government would have conducted a campaign of disinformation through the creation of several Twitter accounts (approximately 200,000) and Facebook, deleted from reports that Variety . In spite of the vigilance of social networks vis-à-vis these fake accounts, it would seem that some have managed to pass between the meshes of the net, always according to the american magazine.
These tweets describing pro-democracy protesters as “thugs” or “terrorists”, using it as signature #SupportMulan as well as the Mulan Liu as a symbol to counter the boycott. The expression “young and useless” is regularly used to point the activists antigouvernement.
#SupportMulan The truth is ugly and disappointed, purpose everybody needs to know. pic.twitter.com/wVAHTY5jmj
— Raye_Leo (@leo_raye) August 19, 2019
“The truth is ugly and disappointing, but everyone needs to know”.
#SupportMulan Some Chinese-Americans love their
homeland, while some Chinese(like rebels) have another heart of selling their motherland. Mulan is the character of China, Mulan must be deduced by an actress who love China! a
— Ava (@longagocy) August 17, 2019
“Some Americans of chinese descent love their homeland, while some of the Chinese (as the rebels) have a not have the heart to sell their homeland. Mulan is the character of China, Mulan is to be played by an actress who loves China!”
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at the same time, the various media controlled by the government, would praise the film to reconcile the audience with the project. In the lead, the People’s Daily , official organ of the chinese communist Party. The journal is published in English on Facebook and Twitter a response directly to those who rebel against the actress. Through a long message, he denounced a “vicious attack against Liu Yifei, and the call for the boycott of the remake of Mulan is nothing less than an attempt to silence certain voices and to lead hong Kong into an abyss”.
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This case has put the firm’s big ears in a difficult position. On one side, the actress is more and more rejected. On the other, Disney does not allow the return of fear to create a real diplomatic incident, as well as to lose the chinese market for this film is nearly 1.4 billion potential viewers. For the moment, neither the firm nor the actress have reacted. It will have to wait for march 25, 2020 (released in France) this new remake to judge the performance of the actress outside of any political consideration.
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