Pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, including Joshua Wong, are calling on moviegoers to boycott Disney’s live-action Mulan over actress Liu Yifei’s past comment in which she supported Communist China’s crackdown on demonstrators. They are also calling out the Walt Disney Co. for its repeated deference to China’s Communist dictatorship.
Joshua Wong, who is one of the most prominent faces among Hong Kong’s freedom activists, pushed the Mulan boycott in a recent tweet. “Because Disney kowtows to Beijing, and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorses police brutality in Hong Kong, I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan,” he wrote.
This film is released today. But because Disney kowtows to Beijing, and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorses police brutality in Hong Kong, I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan. https://t.co/utmP1tIWNa
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) September 4, 2020
The hashtag #BoycottMulan has gained traction since Thursday thanks to Wong’s tweet as well as tweets from the pro-democracy group Stand with Hong Kong.
“There’s no honour in supporting an authoritarian regime. Join Hongkongers’ fight and #BoycottMulan,” the group tweeted.
There’s no honour in supporting an authoritarian regime.
— Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong. (@Stand_with_HK) September 4, 2020
Mainland-born actress Liu Yifei, who plays the title role in Mulan, expressed her support for China’s pro-democracy crackdown last year, when she reportedly posted on Weibo: “I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong.”
While Mulan has opened in cinemas around China, Disney has opted to release the movie in the U.S. on its digital streaming platform, Disney+. Subscribers must pay an extra $30 on top of their monthly fee to watch the new movie.
Disney and other major Hollywood studios are coming under increasing fire for their cozy relationship with Beijing. The Trump administration has blasted Hollywood studios for self-censoring their movies in the hopes of securing mainland distribution.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has refused to publicly discuss China’s authoritarian regime, saying last year that taking a position that could harm the company would be “a big mistake.” Under his leadership, the company has invested millions of dollars in theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Disney’s Marvel Studios also depends heavily on China’s box-office might to help its superhero blockbusters turn a profit.