Mulan, the Issue Maker
Mulan, the Issue Maker
  • Kwak Lee Shinyoung
  • 승인 2020.11.02 09:55
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Mulan, the Issue Maker1)

The film <Mulan>, based on the original Disney animation <Mulan>, is embroiled in issues and controversies, both before and after its release. Mulan is a project that The Walt Disney Company focused on for a major work of the year. The film is set in China and is the story of a young brave woman who steps up to save her nation and family. The original release date was in March of this year, but with the spread of COVID-19, the release was delayed till September 4 in the U.S.. It was broadcasted through Disney Plus, Disney's online video streaming platform, and released in theaters in China on September 11th and South Korea on September 17th. Mulan became a hot topic when it was reported that the film's production costs were 200 million dollars, the highest ever spent for Disney live action. However, it is now being criticized for various reasons. 
Remarks by actor Liu Yifei are being re-examined with the release of the film, and the remarks are drawing criticism once again. In August last year, Liu posted on her SNS account that she supported Hong Kong police during a Hong Kong demonstration by citizens against the extradition bill. Considering the character Mulan, who she plays stands in front of discrimination, her support for Hong Kong police's excessive suppression has been criticized with some claiming she is unfit for the role. Another actor Yen Jidan also added to the controversy by uploading a post celebrating the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China. Liu and Yen brought about the #Boycott Mulan campaign carried out on social media in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Thailand, the so-called "Milk Tea Alliance". These nations continue to fight for democracy in solidarity. The film's ending credits also expressed a special thanks to Turpan City's public security authorities, but they are currently under global attention for happenings in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of Turpan City. The place is said to be where the Chinese government is detaining about 1 million people. The international community is fiercely protesting Disney's advocacy of China's anti-human rights behavior. The Washington Post pointed out that the shooting at Xinjiang Uygur normalized crimes against humanity. Besides these, Mulan has also been criticized for its low understanding of Asian culture. In China, criticism is mounting around the errors regarding historical evidence and Orientalism committed in the film, which clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of Asian culture. Public interest is rising on whether Mulan, a film surrounded in controversy, will do well at the box office. 


1) Lee Haeri, "'Mulan', Creating a Political and Social Issues", Sports Donga, September 11, 2020

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