Disney lately announced that they were considering a live-action adaptation of its famous animated film Mulan. Despite the studio?s attempt at diverse storytelling, the news was met with much skepticism due to Hollywood?s whitewashing trend.
Mulan is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, and tells the story of a girl who disguises herself as a man to serve in her father’s place in the war against the Huns. However, Hollywood studios commonly cast white Caucasian actors and actresses in roles originally meant for diverse characters.
Hardcore fans even started a petition on Care2 titled ?Tell Disney You Don?t Want A Whitewashed Mulan!? in efforts to prevent the same from happening to their beloved Chinese character. The petition quickly gained support, raising its target from 90,000 to 100,000 signatures. So when news emerged that Jennifer Lawrence and Zac Efron were signed in as cast of Mulan, fans were naturally enraged.
Jennifer Lawrence and Zac Efron in Mulan Satire
The news that Disney had signed on Lawrence to be cast as Fa Mulan and Efron as Captain Li Shang are apparently just rumors. Disney has made no official announcement regarding the cast of the Mulan live-action adaption.
The truth is that Lawrence was featured as Fa Mulan by a satire news site Unreel News. Unreel News is a parody account but the enraged Facebook and Twitter fans failed to realize that. It was followed by large scale protests by Disney fans.
However, despite the satirical news, Hollywood whitewashing is in fact rather large scale in the film industry. Major studios across United States are knowingly casting Caucasian actors in order to sell the movies to their national audience. Also adding big actor names to the movies means more success at the box office.
The Disney generation has good reason to be worried, as studios have white superstars cast as Asian characters in major pictures. Recently, Scarlett Johansson?s casting as Major Motoko Kusanagi in The Ghost in the Shell?raised the issue.?Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Dr. Strange and Finn Jones playing marital arts expert Iron Fist in the Marvel?s Netflix series, are other such?examples.
Meanwhile, fans have declared that they would like to see Fan Bingbing, Katie Leung, Jamie Chung or Zhang Ziyi as Mulan.