Disney Promotes 'Mulan' Without Star Who Supported The Brutal Hong Kong Police

Disney promoted the upcoming live-action iteration of "Mulan" at the D23 expo over the weekend without the film's star, Crystal Liu, as a possible attempt to quiet the backlash over her controversial support of the Hong Kong police as pro-democracy demonstrations ensued throughout the city.
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"'Mulan' filmmaker Niki Caro brought new footage for her Disney remake to D23 Saturday, without star Crystal Liu," according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR).
Earlier this month, the #BoycottMulan hashtag exploded on Twitter when Liu openly expressed support for the brutal Hong Kong police force who were largely opposed to the anti-China demonstrators in the mostly autonomous city.
"I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now. What a shame for Hong Kong," Liu said on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
While a majority of the negative tweets focused on Liu, others were more critical of Disney for catering to China simply to make a profit. The studio has since remained utterly silent on the issue — a practice it did not employ when Georgia enacted a fetal heartbeat law to protect unborn babies from the scourge of abortion.
"Mulan is about a female taking control and fighting for her own destiny. Liu Yifei supporting an entity that assaults women who dare to voice their opinion shows her indifference. [Disney] is willing to ignore this for the big bucks in China, but we shouldn't," said one enraged Twitter user.
Indeed, the backlash over "Mulan" highlights a broader trend throughout Hollywood, an industry that has increasingly censored content in order to appease the Chinese box office. Nothing better put this on display than the recent controversy surrounding the "Top Gun" sequel when the trailer revealed that Tom Cruise's iconic aviator jacket had removed two patches that would have rubbed Chinese censors the wrong way: the Taiwanese and Japanese flags.
There’s a new Top Gun movie coming out. And Maverick is wearing the same leather jacket - only this time it’s Communist Party of China-approved, so the Japanese and Taiwanese flag patches are gone (screenshot on right is from the new trailer)...
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Both Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) were deeply troubled by the revelation and wondered aloud if lawmakers should take notice.
"Hollywood is afraid to stand up for free speech," Cruz told The Washington Free Beacon. "'Top Gun' is an American classic, and it's incredibly disappointing to see Hollywood elites appease the Chinese Communist Party. The Party uses China's economy to silence dissent against its brutal repression and to erode the sovereignty of American allies like Taiwan. Hollywood is afraid to stand up for free speech and is enabling the Party's campaign against Taiwan."
"That’s the power of Chinese money in the modern world that kind of sucks," Graham said in an interview with TMZ. "I hate to see the flag removed because of Chinese financing. It’s nothing the government can do, but I think it sucks."
Movie studios have gone to great lengths to appeal to Chinese audiences by presenting the country as a technologically advanced superpower, as in the cases of "The Martian," "2012," "Gravity," and "Looper." Beyond that, some movies have been subjected to self-censorship, sometimes changing whole plotlines in order to break into the Chinese market.
"When the creators of 'Pixels' wanted to show aliens blasting a hole in the Great Wall of China, Sony executives worried that the scene might prevent the 2015 movie’s release in China, leaked studio emails show. They blew up the Taj Mahal instead," reported The New York Times. "In the 2016 movie 'Doctor Strange,' the Ancient One is Celtic, played by the white actress Tilda Swinton. Moviemakers decided to change the character’s ethnicity early in the process, reportedly to avoid offending the Chinese government."
Could Liu's absence at the D23 expo signify that Disney is perhaps skittish about making her the promotional face of the upcoming live-action feature? Time will tell. For now, the film's director, Niki Caro, is focusing on the film's emotional core.
"It's the timeless story we love, but in live-action it's real," Caro said at the expo. "That's the thing I'm most excited about. For people to experience her story in a very real, very visceral and a very emotional way."

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