Joshua Wong’s call for boycott of ‘Mulan’ generates backlash on Chinese social media

By Liu Caiyu Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/6 12:13:00

Poster of Mulan Photo: Maoyan

A call from Hong Kong separatist Joshua Wong to boycott the Disney film Mulan starring Chinese-American actor Liu Yifei faced a strong backlash online on Sunday, with many netizens saying it provided one more reason for them to watch the movie.  

Hong Kong separatists have been inciting the public to "boycott Mulan" since last year after Liu made comments supporting Hong Kong police on Chinese Twitter-like social media Sina Weibo. 

In his tweet on Friday, Wong tried to stir up the public to boycott the movie on the premise of "human rights" and "freedom," saying, "Disney kowtows to Beijing and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorse police brutality in Hong Kong, I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan."

The so-called boycott, however, seems have incited a sense of patriotism on Chinese social media, as many netizens said they decided to buy a ticket for Mulan to counter Hong Kong separatists. 

"I didn't want to watch this film, but after Wong's comments, I decided to watch it," one netizen on Weibo said. 

"The purpose of these separatists is not to resist Mulan at all, but to use the name of 'Mulan' to promote so-called democracy and freedom and to discredit China!" said another.

Shi Wenxue, a Beijing-based film critic, told the Global Times on Sunday that if the Hong Kong separatists generated very strong resistance online, it would inevitably boost the sense of patriotism among Chinese audiences and add momentum for the film's box office. 

The movie was released in the US on Friday and will be officially released on the Chinese mainland on September 11.

The movie was given a score of 79 on Rotten Tomatoes and good reviews were widely seen on the internet. 

 "The 'boycott' was only a small part of people trying to politicize the movie and is unlikely to have a big influence on its final box office." 

Shi said that the quality of the movie itself will be the final say as to its popularity.

After the Global Times reporter Fu Guohao and a tourist were beaten by violent gangs of radical protesters at the Hong Kong airport in August last year, all walks of life in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland started to strongly condemn this heinous act and demand that the Hong Kong police strictly enforce the law and maintain the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Actress Liu reposted content supporting police's law enforcement on her personal Weibo, annoying some extremists in Hong Kong who then called for a boycott of Liu, Disney and Mulan. 

The live-action version of Mulan starring Liu, Donnie Yen, Jet Li and Gong Li was originally scheduled to be released in North America on March 27, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Posted in: SOCIETY

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