Disney fans are threatening to boycott the live-action remake of Mulan after its star backed Chinese police against protesters in Hong Kong.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Crystal Liu, also known as Liu Yifei, who plays the title role in the new movie, retweeted a Chinese propaganda post in support of the police crackdown on the mass protests against authoritarian Chinese rule.
The 31-year-old actress reportedly shared an image from Chinese Communist Party publication, The People’s Daily, on social media that read: “I support the Hong Kong police; you can beat me up now,” in Chinese and added below in English: “What a shame for Hong Kong."
She also spread the pro-regime hashtag: “I also support the Hong Kong Police” with a heart and strong-arm emoji.
Fans outside China were quick to denounce Crystal, and tweet they would boycott the new Disney film due to her support for the Chinese authorities.
Contrasting the star's opinions with the actions of her warrior character, one fan wrote: "Mulan is supposed to support freedom from all types of oppression. That's why it was my favourite childhood movie. It's a shame that the girl who plays Mulan will forever taint the character's reputation because she supports this cruelty #BoycottMulan."
Another added: "I am a Hong Konger, and I will not support any actors or actresses who are blind to HK situation and support political oppression."
Hong Kong residents began protesting earlier this summer against the increasing erosion of the freedoms they enjoy as an autonomous region of China, and brutal police tactics have escalated tensions to the point where protesters have occupied and shut down the city's airport.
However, some suggested she may have been coerced into the pro-Communist Party post.
"Several Chinese celebrities are voicing their opinions in favor of China to protect themselves and their families," one fan speculated. "Freedom of speech does not exist in China. If you feel the need to #BoycottMulan then feel free but this situation is not as black and white as it appears."
Mulan will debut in cinemas in March.
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