Asian Actors Are Taking Jabs at the New ‘Mulan’

Asian Actors Are Taking Jabs at the New ‘Mulan’

September 9, 2020
Nearly a week after its release, Disney’s live-action “Mulan” has steadily received mixed reviews from audiences, while calls for a boycott over political reasons continue to rise on social media.
So far, two Asian actors in Hollywood appear to have thrown shade at the film, mainly over its production.
Chinese Canadian actor Simu Liu, who is currently in Australia filming Marvel’s “Shang-Chi,” took to Twitter to slam the overuse of the concept of “honor.”
While Liu does not mention a film title, his issue appears to stem from White creatives taking on an Asian story, only to regurgitate certain stereotypes.
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“Mulan” screenwriters include Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin.
“BRB though I gotta think about my honour for the fourth time this hour,” Liu wrote. “It’s very important to me, as you can tell from movies that your people have written about my people.”
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Honor is an underlying theme in “Mulan,” both in the 1998 animated feature and this year’s live-action remake.
However, this is not the first time the concept was used by White voices — “Avatar: The Last Airbender” mentioned “honor” so frequently that a YouTube user decided to make a montage out of them.
Ming-Na Wen, who played Mulan in the 1998 feature, also threw shade at the new film — albeit more playfully.
In a new interview with The New York Times, the Chinese American actor poked fun at the removal of one particular scene from the animated version, which many have agreed to be among the film’s most empowering moments.
“I’m sure Yifei is going to get incredible accolades as the live-action Mulan, but I hope everyone will still have a little place in their hearts for the animated Mulan. I mean, at least she cut her hair,” Wen said with laughter.
Interestingly, Wen made a cameo appearance in the new movie. “I thought that was very appropriate and just wonderful, a little Easter egg where I could pass the baton,” she said.
Many reportedly feel that Disney’s choice to remove the hair-cutting scene was strange, considering that Liu’s character does little to make herself appear more masculine.
However, the studio may have reached the decision to allow Liu to release her hair in the climactic battle, which would make for a good visual, according to Screen Rant.
“Mulan” is available to stream on Disney Plus for $30. The film will release in Chinese theaters on Friday.
Feature Images via Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0), (left) and @mingna_wen (right)
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