The live-action remake of the Disney hit “Mulan” is already drawing fire for its decision to wipe out one of the animated film’s lead characters as a nod to political correctness.
“Mulan” is the story of a woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in place of her father in China’s imperial army. The animated 1998 version was a major hit for Disney, which filmed a live-action remake that hits theaters on March 27.
However, the remake will not include the character of Li Shang. In the animated film, Li Shang is a captain in the army who is Mulan’s mentor while she is in the guise of a man and later becomes her love interest, according to Global News.
“We split Li Shang into two characters. One became Commander Tung who serves as her surrogate father and mentor in the course of the movie. The other is Honghui who is her equal in the squad,” producer Jason Reed said, according to Yahoo News.
The reason had nothing to do with the plot and everything to do with political correctness, he said.
“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. And we thought that in a lot of ways that it was sort of justifying behavior of we’re doing everything we can to get out of our industry,” he said, according to Collider.
In Reed’s eyes, this solved everything.
“There’s no power dynamic between them but there is the same dynamic in the original movie that was with Li Shang,” he said.
Reed said the characters are equals.
“They start off on the wrong foot, really. As they progress through the training together, they kind of have this unspoken bond about it because they recognize each other’s warrior spirit. That’s how they kind of build their friendship up to begin with, through the training and acknowledging each other,” Reed said, according to Collider.
The decision did not play well on Twitter.
THIS is why they removed Li Shang? What kind of BS is this??? Shang NEVER forced himself on Mulan/Ping and came to respect her like WTF https://t.co/tjBZWdge4k
— gwendy85 ❤️ REYLO *COMMISSIONS OPEN* (@gwendy85) February 28, 2020
No songs, no Mushu, the lead actor supporting police brutality, and now they removed Li Shang because he was “using his position to pressure Mulan into a relationship”. What kind of crap is that?
Well, thanks for helping me confirm my decision to not watch this movie. https://t.co/hspJ5hcLRb
— MisAnthro Pony (@MisAnthroPony) February 28, 2020
Things no longer in the 2020 Mulan Movie
– Li Shang
– The Musical Numbers
Why are they doing this movie again? Oh right… pic.twitter.com/XGbDjzaZv2
— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) February 28, 2020
Li Shang was arguably the most healthy relationship Disney had to model to little girls. Mulan wasn’t looking for a prince. I cannot abide the message that it’s better to be alone than with a man who is attracted to a powerful & intelligent woman. First Jo March, now this!? https://t.co/rsOLjhoOUg
— summersalt (@tellingoffmytv) February 28, 2020
Reed said that Chinese sensibilities were also a factor in making the movie.
“The traditional Disney audience and the diaspora Asian audience viewed the movie in one way, and the traditional Chinese in China audience viewed a slightly different way. So we really dug in to try and make sure that we were addressing both of those audiences in a thoughtful way. And I think that we — I hope, knock on wood — I think we found a way to tie the way they look at the movie together,” Reed said.
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