Whitewashing Mulan and Communist Propaganda | China Uncensored

October 14, 2016 Updated: October 14, 2016

Hello and welcome to China Uncensored, I’m your host, Chris Chappell. Earlier this month, Disney announced a 2018 release date for a live-action remake of their animated classic Mulan. That’s of course based on the ancient legend of an ordinary girl who disguises herself as a man in order to take her father’s place in the army, with the help of a cricket, a sarcastic horse, and a pocket-sized Eddie Murphy.

Mulan is just one of the many new live action remakes Disney is planning, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, the Lion King, and even a live action Dumbo directed by Tim Burton. Wow, who greenlit that idea? What’s next? Quentin Tarantino’s live-action Bambi remake?

bambiposter

Anyway, the live-action Mulan got a little controversial this week, when the blog Angry Asian Man published an open letter from someone who had read the original spec script that Disney bought, called the Legend of Mulan. The spec script centers around a 30-something European trader who falls in love with Mulan. In fact, more than half of the script is about the European trader, who ends up saving China.

More than half of its pages are dedicated to this merchant who develops a mutual attraction with Mulan and fights to protect her in the ensuing battles. To top it all off, this man gets the honor of defeating the primary enemy of China, not Mulan.

So this caused a little bit of controversy from people who expected the movie Mulan to be, actually about Mulan. To be fair, I hear they’re casting a white guy as the lead in Lion King.

It sounds a little unbelievable, but Hollywood has gotten in trouble recently for whitewashing characters in movies like Doctor Strange, The Last Airbender, Ghost in the Shell, and I could go on but the rest of this episode would just be me listing movies.  

But, after that news broke, sources close to the Disney movie confirmed that the script was being rewritten, and that the love interest was definitely Asian. No word on whether Mushu will still be Eddie Murphy.

For more on this, we go to China Uncensored’s resident Chinese woman, Shelley Zhang.