Disney's input on the #MeToo movement is quickly turning into #BoycottMulan

Fans have been long awaiting the live-action remake of Disney's Mulan. However, Disney Studios have made some changes to the classic tale by removing two of our most favourite characters Li Shang and Mushu the dragon.

Mulan has long been one of the best Disney films out there, it's up there with the Lion King and the Jungle Book. Just like the other two masterpieces, Mulan is soon going to be made into a live-action film but there have been some disappointing changes.

Mulan really served up magic for tough girls growing up. The tomboys definitely identified with the strong female character. Disney Studios even decided that Mulan 'don't need no man'. Executives decided to remove the character, General Li Shang after stating that after the #MeToo movement. Disney Studios reasoned that it would not be appropriate to put a spotlight on unhealthy power relations (no matter how much we may or may not have been attracted to the General). Producer Jason Reed told Collider:

"I think particularly in the time of the #MeToo movement, having a commanding officer that is also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn't think it was appropriate,"

However, Reed also stated that the key role that General Shang played in the film will not go unanswered for:

"We split Li Shang into two characters [for the remake]. One became Commander Tung, who serves as her surrogate father and mentor in the course of the movie. The other is Honghui who is [Mulan's] equal in the squad."

Fans were fuming about the removal of the character, some stating that part of the major story arc was Shang's realisation that Mulan was not lesser just because she's a woman.

Shang is also praised as an LGBTQ+ hero due to his bisexual attraction to Mulan/ Ping. Fans have also pointed out the main focus around #MeToo is consent, of which, is never an issue called into question in Mulan. This has caused some speculation on the true motives of Disney's decision:

Many fans are even advocating for boycotting the film as Mulan actor, Liu YiFei, has come out about supporting the Hong Kong police in their efforts to suppress important political protests.

Shang isn't the only character being removed either. Everyone's favourite dragon Mushu, voiced by Eddie Murphy, has also been axed from the film. Reed stated that the decision came down to feedback from much of China that they would not like to see one of the sacred symbols of their culture like the dragon, sullied. The dragon is a “sign of respect … and strength and power”.

While some risky decisions have been made, it's safe to say that these characters will be sorely missed. Disney's live-action Mulan will be out in UK cinemas on March 27th.

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