“Mulan” sees backlash from students


As a major film intended to represent Asian culture and those in the entertainment industry, the movie “Mulan” was highly anticipated. However, following its release, the film has become involved in many controversies, causing outrage among its targeted audience. 

Because some of the filming was done in China, Disney cooperated with the Chinese government, a relationship that has drawn criticism from many due to the controversy with the Uyghur concentration camps. Another major point of contention with some fans was lead actress Liu Yifei’s public support of Hong Kong’s police amid August protests. These controversies left some students at Diamond Bar High School disappointed. 

“I was heartbroken at first because I thought Mulan would be a great film for Asian female representation in Hollywood,” senior Iris Lee said. “I was disappointed but not surprised she would publically announce siding with the CCP.”

Disney’s actions left many Asian-American students feeling cheated from the representation the film was supposed to offer. 

“At this point I believe Disney made ‘Mulan’ for the sole purpose of gaining profits from China,” Lee said. “They even thanked the Communist Party at the end of the film. This is complete ignorance to the protests for democracy and the inhumane ethnic cleansing of Uyghurs. It really reveals Disney’s stance on human rights.” The film credits actually thank various public agencies in the area of Xinjiang.

Disney’s silence on the matter, in addition to Yifei’s support of government violence in Hong Kong, showcasing to the world the questionable morals of those behind the making of “Mulan.”

Alumna Venira Asker, who is of Uyghur descent, looked up to Disney as a source of inspiration to continue on an artistic career path. Yifei’s actions and words however, against HK’s independence, as well as the filming of the movie in Xinjiang, where millions of Uyghurs are being taken into concentration camps to be tortured, was an absolute disappointment to her and shows a lack of responsibility on the company’s end. 

Film critics have not been kind to the movie either, rating it  as mediocre at best. For a film with a very large  budget and featuring some of Hollywood’s most celebrated Asian actors and filmmakers, many felt that the film didn’t live up to its full potential. The anticlimactic end result for this highly anticipated movie, combined with the unusually expensive streaming cost have left viewers feeling shortchanged. 

“It’s repulsive that they are getting any money out of this film when they have exploited the beautiful geography of Xinjiang to make money, while there are millions who are suffering at that exact location. They would’ve passed by at least seven concentration camps on their way to film,” Asker said.