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24 July


"Boycott Mulan"spreads online in Korea

Korean activists hold #BoycottMulan banner during a press conference to boycott Disney's film "Mulan" in front of Disney Korea in Gangnam-gu

Photo: Korea Times

/NOVOSTIVL/ Boycotts against Disney's live-action remake film "Mulan" are spreading online in Korea once again before its release on Thursday after the film's final credits expressed gratitude to government entities in Xinjiang, China, which is accused of human rights abuses against ethnic minorities.

The Declaration of Global Citizen in Korea, an NGO working for solidarity with Hong Kong citizens, launched an online boycott campaign last Friday, urging social media users to share images calling for the boycott of the Disney film to raise awareness.

On the NGO's website, it said the film overlooked the violence in Xinjiang, where the film was shot, by thanking it, claiming that the Chinese government has been suspected of forcibly detaining as many as a million Uighur people, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority in the region, in prison camps in recent years.

It cited the final credits of the film which thank local government entities and a local publicity department of China for being cooperative with the filming. It also criticized the company for defending the film's starring actress Liu Yifei who made comments supporting the Hong Kong police's crackdown against pro-democracy protesters in August last year, in the midst of the protests and the crackdown. Donnie Yen, also a star of the film, supported the Xi Jinping government over related matters.

In August last year, Liu wrote on her Weibo account that "I support Hong Kong Police. What a shame for Hong Kong" in English and "I also support Hong Kong police" and "You guys can beat me" in Chinese. Many Chinese people liked the comments while it prompted worldwide boycotts and criticism against the film, the actor and the Chinese government in the wake of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.

The NGO also took to the streets in July to call for a boycott of the film after the Chinese government passed the Hong Kong national security law which makes it easier to punish protesters and thus tighten the central government's grip.

In addition to the movement, the hashtag #BoycottMulan started trending once again on Twitter. One tweet written in Korean on Twitter said: "The Mulan I liked doesn't violate human rights. The ending credits are absurd. I won't watch it."

Another said: "Cultivating the market cannot be prioritized over human rights."

The same hashtag was trending online last year when the film star expressed support for the Hong Kong police. The film is set to be released on Thursday in Korean local theaters, after already being released online on Disney Plus following months of delay of its release. Criticism intensified against the film as some internet users started criticizing Disney after it thanked the local government in the credits as it is a show of endorsement for the human rights abuses against the people in the region. Disney's online platform hasn't been officially launched in Korea. Disney was unreachable for comments over the matter.

The film is an adaptation of Disney's 1998 animated film set in ancient China about Hua Mulan, a young woman who disguises herself as a man to go to war.