Martial arts star Donnie Yen recently celebrated Hong Kong’s handover to China, sparking heavy criticism from fans and renewed calls to #BoycottMulan.
Pro-Beijing post: Yen, who plays Commander Tung in Disney’s upcoming live-action Mulan remake, becomes the film’s second cast member along with lead Liu Yifei to spark backlash from fans.
- On July 1, Yen took to Facebook to mark Hong Kong’s handover day, which commemorates the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 and the eventual establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
- “Today is the celebration day for Hong Kong returned to motherland China 23 years [sic],” the Chinese-born actor wrote.
- He also fondly remembered performing for Chinese President and Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping back in 2017, calling it a “memorable night.”
- In Hong Kong, the anniversary of the July 1 handover is celebrated as the Establishment Day and marked with “fireworks displays, live music, and dragon dances,” according to Public Holidays HK.
- It has also become the platform for political movements demanding universal suffrage.
- Yen is now being criticized in Hong Kong for his opinion of Xi Jinping amid Beijing’s recent imposition of the controversial national security law.
- The new law, which many views as a threat to civil liberties, has since sparked a new round of pro-democracy protests in the city.
#BoycottMulan movement: Last year, NextShark reported on the backlash “Mulan” star Liu Yifei received after expressing support for the Hong Kong police amid the then-ongoing protests.
- In a Weibo post, Liu shared a text photo from the Chinese state-run People’s Daily, which reads, “I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong.”
- The Chinese American actress also used the hashtag “#IalsosupportHongKongpolice.”
- At the time, the Hong Kong Police was criticized for the way it handled protesters, journalists, medics and innocent bystanders.
- With the growing animosity toward the law enforcement authorities, Liu’s posts ignited the #BoycottMulan movement.
- Immediately after the #BoycottMulan hashtag gained traction on Twitter, the hashtag #supportmulan also started circulating, which was reported by Variety that many of those messages came from nationalist bots.
- Twitter would later shut down over 200,000 “spammy” accounts from China that were “deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground,” it wrote on its Twitter Safety blog.