The legendary Chinese story of female warrior Mulan will once again hit the silver screen. This time it will be as a live-action feature film. Disney is producing the movie, but not without some potential controversy.
CCTV America’s May Lee has details.
Fans warn Disney not to whitewash MulanThe legendary Chinese story of female warrior Mulan will once again hit the silver screen. This time it will be as a live-action feature film. Disney is producing the movie, but not without some potential controversy. CCTV America’s May Lee has details.
Disney’s 1998 animated film, Mulan, was inspired by the true story of Hua Mulan, a courageous, young woman in China who disguised herself as a man to become a warrior.
And now Disney is ready to bring Mulan back in a live-action film.
But instead of celebration, Mulan fans are sending out a pre-emptive warning to the studio.
Some 100,000 people have signed a petition asking Disney not to cast a Caucasian actor to play the Chinese character Mulan.
“Whitewashing is all too common in Hollywood,” the petition states.”This disturbing trend of whitewashing in big-budget movies can’t get a chance to take root in Mulan as well.”
Film reporter for The Wrap, Meriah Doty, has been following the Disney-Mulan story closely.
“They know they have to cast a Chinese actress, at least an Asian actress, this is a very important story to the people of China. Play their cards right, it will play very well in China, which is a huge market right now,” Doty said.
But just this year, two films whitewashed well-known Asian anime and comic book characters. Scarlett Johansson was cast as Motoko Kusanagi and in Dr. Strange, Tilda Swinton plays the Ancient One, originally an Asian male. Here at Legacy Comics and Cards, fans of anime, manga and comics have mixed feelings about Hollywood’s sometimes controversial choices.
But according to Asians in Hollywood, better representation is still an uphill battle.
“There’s 17 million Asian Americans in this country and there’s 17 million Italian Americans. They have the Godfather, Good Fellas, The Sopranos and Rocky. We got Long Duck Dong so we have a long way to go, but I know we can get there,” 2016 Emmy Winner, Alan Yang said.
And maybe get there a bit sooner with the help of an authentic live-action Mulan.
Imani Cheers on Hollywood diversity
For more about Hollywood diversity, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar interviewed George Washington University, Media and Public Affairs Assistant Professor Imani Cheers.