Live Action Remake of Mulan Faces Backlash in Box Office

Disney’s latest live action remake ‘Mulan’ had it’s small screen release earlier this month and has faced heavy backlash from its audiences. Many Disney fans claim that this film is crucial for Asian representation in mainstream media, but others say that this representation is tainted by social injustice and historical inaccuracies, and it is not the kind of representation they are willing to support. 

Viewers already had mixed expectations towards the film as Disney announced many major plot changes from the beloved 1998 original, but those grievances were overshadowed once audiences found out that it’s set location in China was largely the province of Xinjiang. The area  is known for being a hotspot for the extreme mistreatment of China’s Uyghur Muslim minority

For months netizens have been appalled by the news coming from China about the scores of missing Uyghur people. Dr. Erkin Sidick, president of the Uyghur Projects Foundation, says that China is executing a ‘ethnic cleansing”, their plan to kill ⅔ of the  Uygher population. Reports from ITV   say that Uyghurs are being shipped to “Re-Education camps” where they face forced labour & extreme abuse such as forced sterilization & illegal organ harvesting . According to PittNews, The Uyghur population in China has decreased dramatically, as much as 80%,  in the last few years.

 In light of these serious human rights violations in Xinjiang, fans immediately started trending the hashtag #boycottmulan on social media, calling for the movie to be taken down.


Fans were even more outraged that Disney thanked the chinese government in the ending credits of the film, claiming that this is Disney outright supporting the state sanctioned violence against the Uyghur minority. The CFO responded, “It’s common knowledge that, in order to film in China, you have to be granted permission. That permission comes from the central government” and that it is industry standard to credit/acknowledge the countries that the movie was set in. Viewers did not buy this, and argued that Disney should have never filmed in Xinjiang in the first place. 

Even though Disney filmed in China,  Many chinese viewers still expressed disappointment that the movie was not historically accurate. Disney did not provide any chinese captions on it’s streaming platform & critics complained that the clothing & set were unappealing and inaccurate. Xiran Jay Zhao, a Chinese-Candian author, also added that the crew was majority white.

2020 Mulan’s many issues have led to a wildly different reality then the projected success movie producers anticipated, doing poorly in Chinese box offices and only earning back $65 million of its $200 million budget. The fans have spoken.