‘Mulan’, an action-drama film by Disney, an American multinational firm, has sparked outrage over filming in parts of China where the government is accused of serious human rights abuses.
The movie, which is a live-action remake of a 1998 animated version, was released on Disney’s streaming platform last week and is billed to hit Chinese cinemas as from September 11.
But the development has continued to garner opposition, with many calling for the movie’s boycott.
Criticisms of the project had started last year when Liu Yifei, the movie’s star actor, who hails from mainland China, openly supported the police in Hong Kong.
The controversies trailing the movie, however, took a new dimension recently after reports emerged that it was partly filmed in Xinjiang, a western region in China, where the country’s government has been heavily criticised for alleged clampdown on ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims.
Several state organisations in Xinjiang reportedly appeared in the film’s credits — a move that has further ignited the lingering dusts over the film.
Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong democracy activist, alongside others have since been championing protests against the movie using various promoted hashtags including “#BoycottMulan” and “#BanMulan”.
Wong had accused Disney of “kowtowing” to China, citing Yifei and other of the movie actors’ support for Hong Kong police and as well as the film’s credits mentioning state organisations in Xinjiang.
“We urge people around the world to boycott the new Mulan movie,” he told Reuters on Tuesday.
The movie, said to cost $200 million, was originally billed to be released in the theaters in March, but was delayed as result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Disney and the Chinese government had earlier been at loggerheads over ‘Kundun,’ its 1997 movie based on the life of the exiled Dalai Lama, whom China has branded a dangerous separatist.
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