#BoycottMulan is trending again upon the film’s Disney+ debut. Here’s why

Yifei Liu in Disney's "Mulan"
Yifei Liu as Hua Mulan in Disney’s “Mulan.”
(Jasin Boland / Disney Enterprises Inc.)

Disney has already scrapped its theatrical release for “Mulan” in the United States. That hasn’t stopped people from urging #BoycottMulan upon its Disney+ debut.

The live-action remake’s Friday arrival on the streaming platform has reignited a controversy surrounding its star heroine, Yifei Liu, who drew sharp criticism last year after showing support for the Hong Kong police. Six months after the movie was originally set to hit theaters, social media users haven’t forgotten the Chinese American actress’ divisive remarks.

“This film is released today,” tweeted Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong. “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.”

The #BoycottMulan hashtag first started trending in August of 2019 after Liu publicly sided with Hong Kong authorities, who have been widely criticized for using excessive force against pro-democracy protesters resisting the mainland Chinese government.


On the Chinese social media site Weibo, Liu shared the now infamous words of Fu Guohao, a reporter for the Communist Party-run Global Times: “I support the Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now.” In a follow-up post, Liu confirmed her stance, writing, “I also support the Hong Kong police.”

Disney’s live-action version of “Mulan,” directed by Niki Caro and streaming on Disney+, is something of a heroic muddle.

Sept. 3, 2020

Since her initial Weibo posts sparked a backlash, the #BoycottMulan hashtag has followed Liu and the highly anticipated Disney film from the first trailer to the world premiere in March — and now its digital debut.

“Reminder that, Liu Yifei 劉亦菲, spoke out in support for #HongKong police brutality in August 2019,” another pro-democracy account tweeted. “There’s no honour in supporting an authoritarian regime. Join Hongkongers’ fight and #BoycottMulan. #NotMyMulan.”

Disney did not immediately respond Friday to the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment.

In addition to Liu’s pro-police views, Twitter could think of other reasons to skip the movie — including, but not limited to, the absences of fan-favorite characters from the 1998 animated version, such as Mulan’s spunky dragon protector, Mushu, and “bisexual icon” Li Shang. (Many believe army General Shang is bi because he shows interest in Mulan both before and after she is revealed to be a woman.)

Debuting in 1998 after two major Disney animated bombs, the original “Mulan” had a low-key premiere and bare-bones marketing. Now the live-action version is going straight to Disney+. Is this any way to treat one of the best Disney characters ever?

Aug. 5, 2020


#BoycottMulan because the lead actress [Yifei Liu] supports police brutality in Hong Kong, is against democracy & freedom & is in general a CCP puppet, & therefore we don’t stan + we certainly don’t pay $30 for a Mushu and Li Shang-less adaption,” one person tweeted.

Last month, Disney announced that “Mulan” would forgo a theatrical release and instead launch on Disney+ after the COVID-19 pandemic repeatedly delayed its opening. The film, directed by Niki Caro, is now available to stream on the platform for $29.99 until Dec. 4, when “Mulan” will become free to all Disney+ subscribers.