#BoycottMulan is trending on Twitter after the star of the upcoming Disney live-action expressed support for Hong Kong’s police, who are accused of using excessive force on pro-democracy protesters in the city.
Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan, reposted a graphic on Chinese microblogging site Weibo which said: “I support Hong Kong’s police. You can all beat me up now.” It also said, in English, “what a shame for Hong Kong.”
On top of the graphic, which was created by China’s state-run People’s Daily newspaper, Liu added: “I also support the Hong Kong Police,” followed by emojis of a heart and a muscular arm.
Liu is Chinese-American, and has lived both in the US and mainland China.
The hashtag #BoycottMulan started to trend across Twitter after her post.
Sean Norton wrote: “Disney’s Mulan actress, Liu Yifei, supports police brutality and oppression in Hong Kong. Liu is a naturalized American citizen. it must be nice. meanwhile she pisses on people fighting for democracy. retweet please. HK doesn’t get enough support. #BoycottMulan @Disney.”
The tweet had 8,000 retweets and around 9,000 likes as of Friday morning.
Others also encouraged a boycott of the movie, which is set for release in March 2020.
People also tagged Disney’s Twitter account and replies to Disney’s own tweets, criticizing Liu’s stance.
Some people from Hong Kong thanked users for the support, saying that they hoped the government would meet their demands.
Most of the protesters have settled on the following five demands:
- The complete withdrawal of the proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong residents to be extradited to mainland China.
- An independent investigation into police behaviour during the protests.
- The release of protesters that were arrested during the protests, with charges against them dropped.
- For government to stop referring to the protests as “riots.”
- Reform to voting laws.
Protesters held up signs outlining these demands as they occupied Hong Kong’s airport this week, and explained them to travellers who were passing through.
The protests, which started in June, began as a peaceful protest against a bill that would allow Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China.
The bill has been suspended, but the protests have continued as Hong Kong residents express fears about greater control from China and the erosion of their separate political system.
In the airport, many protesters held signs and covered their eyes in reference to a medic who was allegedly blinded in one eye after police shot into a crowd.
The United Nations on Tuesday called for an investigation. It said police use of tear gas was “creating a considerable risk of death or serious injury,” and that there is “credible evidence of law enforcement officials employing less-lethal weapons in ways that are prohibited by international norms.”
Liu has appeared in films like “The Forbidden Kingdom” with Jackie Chan and “Outcast” with Nicolas Cage. She was cast in “Mulan” after a year-long search.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that more than 1,000 actresses were considered for the role across five continents.
Alexandra Ma contributed reporting to this article.
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