“Mulan” Star Liu Yifei’s Comments on Hong Kong Protests Ignite #BoycottMulan Movement

Liu Yifei, star of Disney’s upcoming live-action version of Mulan, made comments on a Chinese social media site that seemed in opposition to Hong Kong protests, prompting a #BoycottMulan movement.

UPDATE 8/20/19:

  • Twitter and Facebook have reportedly deleted nearly 1,000 accounts that were being used to share pro-Beijing rhetoric in response to the boycott of Disney’s Mulan, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Twitter released a statement on the removal of these accounts, saying "These accounts were deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground.”

ORIGINAL 8/16/19:

  • As Deadline reports, the comments in question were in response to the current series of protests in Hong Kong that have been occurring for more than four months.
  • While the demonstrations were originally in response to a controversial extradition bill, they’ve continued in part to protest the Hong Kong police force, accusing them of using excessive force against protestors and journalists.
  • On a Twitter-like platform called Weibo, Yifei seemed to show support for the Hong Kong police force, saying “I support the Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now. What a shame for Hong Kong.”
  • Notably, CNN’s translation of the post was slightly different, quoting Yifei as writing, “I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong.”
  • Yifei, who is Chinese-American, immediately received backlash on Weibo and Twitter (which is banned in China) with a #BoycottMulan movement, with Deadline seeing comments like “So disappointed. Was so excited for Mulan too” and “I was happy when @DisneyStudios announced that they are making a new Mulan movie, she was my childhood hero. It is [disappointing] to see the actress who plays her does not empathise with the protesters in HK. They are fighting for their homeland like Mulan. #BoycottMulan”
  • The actress has also received plenty of praise for her comments, with a lot of the comments on her post echoing her support for the Hong Kong police and Beijing. One comment said, “Believe in the government, believe in the Chinese central (government) believe in the country.”
  • Yifei isn’t the only Chinese celebrity who has made comments regarding the protests. Jackie Chan (Voice of Li Shang in the Cantonese translation of the animated Mulan) also called for peace on Chinese broadcaster CCTV and also received backlash on Twitter for his comments.
  • Meanwhile, according to Bob Iger, the protests in Hong Kong have also had an affect on Hong Kong Disneyland and will likely impact next quarter’s results.