To Disney's chagrin, Mulan star Crystal Liu has taken sides in the ongoing dispute between Hong Kong and mainland China. The Chinese-American actress, posting on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, wrote, "I support Hong Kong's police, you can beat me up now," complete with the hashtag "IAlsoSupportTheHongKongPolice."
Social media users immediately accused the actress of promoting police brutality and urged people to boycott the new live-action Mulan and Disney studios.
Disney’s Mulan actress, Liu Yifei, supports police brutality and oppression in Hong Kong.— sean norton ?? (@sdnorton) August 15, 2019
Liu is a naturalized American citizen. it must be nice. meanwhile she pisses on people fighting for democracy.
retweet please. HK doesn’t get enough support. #BoycottMulan @Disney pic.twitter.com/FpECIdutH2
Hong Kong entered a period of unrest in June after the introduction of an extradition bill that would have allowed residents charged with a crime to be extradited to mainland China, where they were not expected to have a fair trial. The Communist Party controls the courts. Citizens worried that the measure would threaten the autonomy they've had since 1997, when Britain handed the territory back to China. What the protesters want is for the bill to be officially withdrawn, the resignation of a few relevant officials, and an investigation into police behavior.
It all came to a head at Hong Kong Airport this week. Thousands of protesters stormed the facility and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights. Some scenes have been brutally violent. Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets against the demonstrators, while the other day a group of protesters beat up a man they thought was a Chinese spy. He was later identified as a journalist for the Chinese state newspaper Global Times.