National

Updated: October 11, 2016

Live-action 'Mulan' will not introduce white love interest

By Brianna Chambers

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Disney's "Mulan" is making a come back.

A live-action remake of the 1998 animated film is set to hit theaters in November 2018. 

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But fans and critics aren't happy about new changes that were said to be made in the storyline. 

The traditional Chinese story tells the tale a young girl who takes her father's place in a war to save him, but a "proposed remake ... would feature a white male European sailor who saved the young heroine and conquered her heart," CNN reported.

According to a blog post on AngryAsianMan.com on Monday, portions of the script, written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, revealed that Disney would be inserting a white male character into the storyline.

The blog post, written by an anonymous "Asian American person in the industry," claimed that "the man is a 30-something European trader who initially cares only for the pleasure of women and money. The only reason why he and his entourage decide to help the Chinese Imperial Army is because he sets eyes on Mulan.

"More than half of (the scripts) pages are dedicated to this merchant who develops a mutual attraction with Mulan and fights to protect her in the ensuing battles. To top it all off, this man gets the honor of defeating the primary enemy of China, not Mulan. Way to steal a girl's thunder," he wrote.

The unnamed writer combated claims that said his post was inaccurate. Actor Joel de la Fuente said he could confirm the altered script. 


Since the post was published, more than 100,000 people from all over the world have signed a petition to "tell Disney (they) don't want a whitewashed 'Mulan.'"

According to CNN, "the term 'whitewash' is sometimes used to describe the tendency in which Western culture appropriates minority cultures around it."

The petition says that whitewashing makes it "far more difficult for countless children around the world to see themselves in the stories they love and think that they, too, can make a difference."

18MR, an organization that aims to promote "civic engagement, influence and movement" of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., started another petition

"When our stories are never told by and for us, we become mere stereotypes, and that harms us," the organization's digital campaigner, Oanh-Nhi Nguyen told CNN. "It is a systemic issue in media diversity that requires change. We need meaningful representation on screen, in writing rooms and in executive leadership." 

Social media users took to Twitter with the hashtag #MakeMulanRight to voice outrage over the changes. 

Tuesday, Vulture reported that Disney announced that the company had hired new writers -- Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who helped write "Jurassic World" -- who would take over the "Mulan" script and that Mulan's love interest would be Chinese.