Disney Actress Liu Yifei Sparks Outrage Over Social Media Post, #BoycottMulan Trends On Twitter

Liu Yifei attends a ceremony
Visual China / Getty Images

The hashtag “#BoycottMulan” is trending on Twitter over a controversial social media post from the upcoming film’s lead star, Liu Yifei.

According to Newsweek, Yifei — who plays the titular female warrior in Disney’s live-action remake of the 1998 animated epic — made a political post on the microblogging site Weibo, which allegedly saw her adopt a pro-police stance.

Sharing a photo from the Chinese outlet People’s Daily that reads, “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now,” the actress added, “What a shame for Hong Kong” and “I also support Hong Kong police…”

By sharing her support for the police, many people have interpreted her post as the actress condoning an oppressive regime, as it arrived during a divisive time for the people of Hong Kong.

For the past two months, protests have dominated the region over an extradition bill that could send accused criminals to mainland China for their trials.

Since 1997, Hong Kong and China have had two different legal systems. This agreement, which was implemented during the British handover of the region to China, is supposed to remain intact until 2047.

As noted by The Guardian, the passing of the bill will potentially allow Chinese courts to rule with bias. At the time of this writing, the bill has been put on hold. However, there has been a call among the Hong Kong populace for more autonomy.

The anti-government activists want to see political reforms, as well as the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam for proposing the bill. As documented by The New York Times, both the protesters and the ruling Chinese Communist Party are unwilling to reach a compromise.

The police have been criticized for their handling of the protests, having been accused of using excessive force to keep the protesters at bay. The New York Times report states that the officers are viewing the protests as an act of “terrorism.”

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The protests — which have been ongoing for 11 weeks — got more heated earlier this week after a reported 5,000 activists stormed Hong Kong Airport, causing all departing flights to stay grounded for two days. Normal service didn’t resume until Wednesday.

The effect this has on Mulan remains to be seen. Disney has been known to fire people for social media posts that do not correspond with their safe image, and they surely don’t appreciate this latest scandal.

Critics of the post argue that Yifei is commenting on a tumultuous situation from the safety of America, where her citizenship ensures that she’ll never experience the struggle of the Hong Kong people who want to prevent authoritarian rule.