Though she’s been in over a dozen film and TV projects over the last 15 years, without a doubt landing the starring role in the upcoming Disney live-action remake of “Mulan” is the biggest moment in the career of actress Liu Yifei. Unfortunately for her, thanks to a social media post, it appears that her triumphant big-budget blockbuster debut is facing some intense backlash.
Recently, Liu Yifei posted an image on the Chinese social media network Weibo that sparked outrage after it would appear that the actress has decided to stand with Hong Kong police after claims that the police used excessive force against peaceful protesters and journalists (via Newsweek).
Liu shared an image that said, “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now.” That was followed by a statement in English that read, “What a shame for Hong Kong” and “#Ialsosupporthongkongpolice#.”
This has led to a #BoycottMulan social media campaign by people who feel that Liu is now on the wrong side of history in this situation. The original post has since been deleted, but screenshots still circulate and the actress now finds herself in a controversy that is surely not going to help the Asian release of her film.
Disney’s live-action remakes have been big business for the studio. Outside of an anomaly or two (such as “Dumbo”), these films have routinely been blockbusters, with the last two (“Aladdin” and “The Lion King”) both earning over $1 billion worldwide. “Mulan” was expected to be another film that could do well, especially in China, where the film takes place, as it’s based on a Chinese story. However, if the #BoycottMulan campaign gains momentum, Disney could be looking at the film having its Chinese box office affected.
Luckily for Liu and Disney, there’s still plenty of time before “Mulan” is released for this controversy to die down. The film is expected to arrive in theaters on March 27, 2020.