Chinese netizens refute idea that kiss was cut from ‘Mulan’ to appease audiences

By Chen Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/27 15:23:35

Poster of Mulan Photo: Maoyan

A cut kiss scene between Mulan and her romantic interest Chen Honghui in the upcoming Disney film Mulan has stirred heated discussion on Chinese social media.

The hashtag for the kiss scene earned 27.91 million views on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo after The Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday that the kiss was cut after Chinese executives at Disney's China office pointed out that it "doesn't feel right to the Chinese people."

Some foreign netizens joked on Twitter that Disney cut the kiss to appease the Chinese audience, which enraged many Chinese netizens who said they were opposed to the cutting as well, claiming that the Chinese office cannot represent all Chinese people.

"Why are they so strict with the fantasy character Mulan? This is originally supposed to be a story that gives the traditional Hua Mulan a new image of a woman breaking through the chains on herself. She is not only a heroine, but also a female individual, and surely she could do something like this to express her love to a man," one Chinese netizens commented on Sina Weibo.

"I don't think it's necessary to delete the kiss part. The 2009 version of Mulan starring Zhao Wei and Chen Kun also had a bathing scene. They also said the film would include a kiss and some other sex scenes during the promotion. Also, almost every Chinese costume film and television drama themed with women has a kiss scene. It is the year 2020, Mulan can kiss her lover," Shi Wenxue, a film critic living in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.

While some agreed that it is okay to express one's love through a kiss, some noted that it wouldn't fit the film due to the time period it takes place in.

"Surely Mulan can kiss in the new era, but cutting the kiss part is in line with China's historical and cultural background because men and women who are not a couple nor from the same family in that era are not allowed to even touch each other. Kissing is not the only way to express love. Proper emotional rendering can also make the characters more complete," one Chinese netizen posted on Sina Weibo.

"I really don't understand how some netizens abroad who are not familiar with ancient Chinese culture dare to make some stupid comment on the film online," one Chinese netizen commented on Twitter.

Some Chinese netizens called on people to focus on the real theme of the story instead of getting hung up on a kiss.

"Mulan is not a typical Disney princess. She represents the spirit of women who broke through etiquette. The story does not focus on romantic love, but patriotism and women's pursuit of self-worth," one Chinese netizen wrote.

According to reports, Disney has spent $200 million on the film, which they plan to bring to the Chinese mainland box office in 2020. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, the film which was scheduled to be screened globally on March 27 had to be postponed in the mainland. 

Shi said he is not optimistic about Mulan's box office this year due to the epidemic. 

"If the film's score is not very high after it debuts in North America, Chinese audiences might not be that interested in watching it. But even if reviews are good, the film will still need to compete with postponed Chinese films that were originally set to be released during the Chinese New Year," he said. 


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