Movie heroes don’t need to be white and male.
Rumours that the lead in Disney’s live action remake of the 1998 cartoon Mulan would be a white male resulted in a backlash from fans. Thousands took to Twitter to express their anger, with the hashtag #MakeMulanRight circulating on Twitter. And a petition titled ‘Tell Disney You Don’t Want A Whitewashed Mulan!’ has already attracted over 100,000 signatures.
Here are just some of the #MakeMulanRight tweets.
But lets face it, whitewashing in Hollywood is nothing new. Rooney Mars was cast as the Native American Tiger-Lily in Pan. Emma Stone played a Hawaiian and Asian character in Aloha. And Scarlet Johansson was given the starring role in the movie adaptation of the Japanese comic series Ghost in the Shell. Whitewashing is an epidemic. Things need to change and the Make Mulan Right campaign could be the start of this.
Mulan is an incredible story, inspired by a Chinese legend, of a girl who disguises herself as a man to join the army and defeats the Huns to save her country. Therefore, it would be a disservice to change this narrative and have a white male lead as the movie’s hero. So many girls (especially Asian girls) struggle to find positive, strong images of people who look like them onscreen. The ‘Make Mulan Right’ campaign shows that people will no longer stand for such blatant whitewashing and hopefully Hollywood will listen.