As Disney's mega-budget live-action remake of Mulan prepares to roll out in theaters in select markets across Asia, pro-democracy activists in several countries in the region are calling on audiences to steer clear of the movie via the growing #BoycottMulan movement.
A wave of coordinated social media activity in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand over the weekend urged for filmgoers to skip the movie because of past comments made by its star, actress Liu Yifei, supporting Hong Kong's police force.
Among the most prominent voices calling for the boycott is Hong Kong activist leader Joshua Wong. "Because Disney kowtows to Beijing, and because Liu Yifei openly and proudly endorses police brutality in Hong Kong, I urge everyone who believes in human rights to #BoycottMulan," he wrote Friday on Twitter.
Liu was circumspect when addressing the protests and her comments in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year. "I think it's obviously a very complicated situation, and I'm not an expert. I just really hope this gets resolved soon ... I think it's just a very sensitive situation."
Because of the tiny scale of Hong Kong's movie box office relative to the mainland Chinese market — the city has a population of just 11 million compared to 1.3 billion in China — activists have repeatedly called on pro-democracy supporters from afar to get behind the #BoycottMulan hashtag.