Hong Kong protestors are now calling on a Disney boycott after Liu Yifei shared her support for the police. The Mulan actress has brought the upcoming remake right in the middle of the ongoing pro-democracy and anti-police brutality protests.
Twitter is banned in China, but it didn't take long for the news to spread with the boycott Mulan hashtag trending worldwide with one tweet about the situation gaining nearly 13,000 retweets and over 14,000 likes. Yifei Liu had this to say on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
"I support the Hong Kong police. You can beat me up now... What a shame for Hong Kong."
Liu Yifei, who is a naturalized American citizen, caused immediate backlash when she posted her police support. Her 65 million followers were perplexed by the post, but it was still able to get quite a bit of support at the same time. Twitter is really where the boycott of Disney and its next live-action remake Mulan has taken off. One person against Yifei's support explains.
"Disney's Mulan actress, Liu Yifei, supports police brutality and oppression in Hong Kong. Liu is a naturalized American citizen. it must be nice. meanwhile she pisses on people fighting for democracy. Retweet please. HK doesn't get enough support."
The Hong Kong protests, which began in June as mostly peaceful demonstrations against a now-suspended extradition bill, have turned into something much darker and violent over the past few weeks. There have been frequent clashes between protesters and police including a tense standoff at the Hong Kong International Airport when police started using pepper spray and rubber bullets on the protestors. Now, Disney's Mulan has been dragged into the middle of this, thanks to Liu Yifei's public endorsement of the police.
Liu Yifei is not the only Chinese celebrity to come out in support of the police in this situation. Jackie Chan, Tony Leung Ka-fai, and Daniel Chan have all come out against the protestors, while popstar Denise Ho is in support of the protests. The social media outcry against Yifei's comments have spilled over into the official social media accounts for the Mulan remake, with many people noting that her message, "violates the character of Mulan." The backlash has hit Disney too with several people asking why they would hire someone who "condones violence" and "suppresses people who are fighting for democracy and freedom but curries favor from powerful authorities."
The Hong Kong protests all started over a bill that would allow residents charged with a crime to be extradited to the Chinese mainland where the courts reportedly have "little political impartiality." Almost 2 million protestors took to the streets in June to contest the bill. With escalating police brutality, things are starting to get worse as the protestors are starting to get violent in retaliation. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce the Mulan boycott news.