Whitewashing Mulan and Communist Propaganda | China Uncensored


On this episode of China Uncensored, I’ll make a man out of you Hello and welcome to China Uncensored, I’m your host, Chris Chappell. Earlier this month, Disney announced a 2018 release date for a live-action remake of their animated
classic Mulan. That’s, of course, based on the ancient
legend of an ordinary girl who disguises herself
as a man in order to take her father’s place in the
army, with the help of a cricket, a sarcastic horse, and a pocket-sized Eddie Murphy. Mulan is just one of the many new live action
remakes Disney is planning, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, the Lion King, and even a live action Dumbo directed by Tim
Burton. Wow. Who greenlit that idea? What’s next? Quentin Tarantino’s live-action Bambi remake? Anyway, the live-action Mulan got a little controversial
this week, when the blog Angry Asian Man published an
open letter from someone who had read the original spec
script that Disney bought, called the Legend of Mulan. The spec script centers around a 30-something
European trader who falls in love with Mulan. In fact, more than half of the script is about the
European trader, who ends up saving China. So this caused a little bit of controversy from people who expected the movie Mulan to be actually about Mulan. To be fair, I hear they’re casting a white guy as the
lead in Lion King. It sounds a little unbelievable, but Hollywood has gotten in trouble recently for whitewashing characters in movies like
Doctor Strange, The Last Airbender, Ghost in the Shell, and I could go on, but the rest of this episode would just be
me listing movies. But after that news broke, sources close to the Disney movie confirmed that the script was being rewritten, and that the love interest was definitely
Asian. No word on whether Mushu will still be Eddie
Murphy. For more on this, we go to China Uncensored’s resident Chinese
woman, Shelley Zhang. Shelley, what do you think of the Mulan controversy? Well Chris, it sounds like the original script wasn’t
so much the Legend of Mulan, as it was the Legend of Greg, the Selfish European Trader Who Falls in Love
With Mulan and Changes for the Better, Thereby Saving China. But I guess that wouldn’t fit well on a movie
poster. Matt? Where’s Shelley? I’m here, Chris. Then why am I talking to Matt about this? Well, according to viewer data, more than half of China Uncensored’s US audience is white males, like me. So we thought it would be more relatable if Matt talked about this issue. But we don’t want to hear from Matt. We want to hear from you. Oh. Well, that’s all you had to say. Thanks, Matt, you’re done here. Awww, man. So Shelley, what do you think of the new Mulan script? I prefer to think that maybe the screenwriters got confused and thought that they were writing the remake of Pocahontas. Pocahontas? Right, or Avatar. Or The Last Samurai. Or Dances with Wolves. Or– Ok, I take your point. We’ve seen this story before. What about the Great Wall? I’m actually not really upset about the Great
Wall, since casting Matt Damon was more of a cynical
move by the Chinese studio to appeal to Western
audiences. Also, there are monsters attacking the Great
Wall, so I don’t think they were going for historical
accuracy. And look, I’m not saying that Disney’s live action Mulan has to be totally faithful to the original
legend. Stories change. The original ballad of Mulan was written in
the 6th century. And it’s been adapted in various poems, plays and novels for hundreds of years. But this latest Legend of Mulan script was something else. It’s even less faithful than the 1998 animated
film the Secret of Mulan, in which Mulan is literally a caterpillar. A caterpillar! But guess what? Caterpillar Mulan still gets to save the day. So every time that people come out to say
something about whitewashing or diversity in the media, there are people who say that this doesn’t
matter. Are we making too big a deal out of this? It matters, Chris. Stories are important. They influence how we see the world around
us. And you know who really understands this? The Chinese Communist Party. I did not see that coming. The Chinese Communist Party is fantastic at
using stories to reshape how people think about their own
culture. Here’s a recent example. The Washington Post published this story about an opera that is performed each night
in the capital of Tibet. It’s a love story between Chinese Princess
Wencheng and Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Princess Wencheng brings civilization to Tibet, and the noble king, who dreams of freeing the poor, builds the Potala Palace as a tribute of his
love to her. That sounds so sweet. Yeah, but there’s one problem: It’s not true. Although historically there may have been a real Princess Wencheng, it’s a little unclear. But this version of her story was commissioned
back in 1959 by Communist Party leader Zhou Enlai to justify the Party’s “liberation” of Tibet. China, as the kind, older brother who teaches
Tibet how to be civilized. Princess Wencheng is even credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. Which is not true? So they created a legend to explain why Tibetans should be grateful for the Communist
Party. Well not so much created as co-opted. And it’s not just about erasing Tibetan culture. Thousands of Han Chinese tourists watch this
opera every night, and feel good about themselves for “saving”
Tibet, and don’t understand why Tibetans don’t like
the benevolent rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Wow, that’s pretty messed up. That’s only one example. The Communist Party has done this with Chinese
culture too. One famous example is how they took the legend of a white-haired goddess and turned it into an opera about a girl whose
hair turns white after she’s victimized by an evil landlord, and—spoiler alert— is saved by communism. Oh, and there’s a song called “Dear Chairman
Mao.” There’s also the movie Hero, which basically shows that it’s ok for the
leader of China to kill tons of people as long as it’s to keep China unified. Yes. That. To be clear, I’m not saying that Disney is
at all doing what the Communist Party is doing. But they need to be aware of what their stories
are saying about Chinese culture. So what do you think they’ll do about the
live action Mulan?Well, I hope that they’re listening to what people are saying about the kind of Mulan movie they want to
see. As a Chinese American, I hope to see a story where we get to be our
own heroes. And I think Disney might just be able to do
that. Otherwise, dishonor on Disney. And dishonor on their cow. Thanks, Shelley. What do you think about Disney’s changes
to Mulan? Is it a big deal over nothing? Or would China Uncensored be better off hosted
by… Me! Leave your comments below. Once again I’m Chris Chappell. See you next time!




Comments
  1. Hi China Uncensored,
    I heard that Disney is about to start the remake of
    Shaka Zulu, staring Matt Damon.
    Humm… i'm very curious about it.

  2. Reporter: ''We now go live to Matt Damon for his responds!''
    Mat Damon: ''MATT DAMON''
    Reporter: ''Thanks Matt for your educated opinion of the situation as always.''

  3. Normally I oppose political correctness…

    But I really think Mulan should be about how Mulan saves China and her struggle to find acceptance and function in what is traditionally a masculine role, showing the hardships of masculinity and one woman's drive to over come them in order to protect a sick and elder father.

  4. i want a quantum decision on the host where all 3 appear in as smooth transition as possible from one to the other so the viewer doesnt notice.

  5. This just demonstrates the hypocrisy of Leftist Hollywood.They are always pushing "diversity" (which in their narrow perspective simply ammounts to urban street culture, but when it comes to actual diversity it will always be lacking in Hollywood because it only cares about demographics. NEVER will you see East Asians in roles that 1: Don't have anything to do with their homelands, 2: Don't have to do with martial arts, 3: Isn't a female lead, 4: Isn't in some production specifically about "awareness raising" or some other nonsense.This is especially stark when you get all these re-boots of specifically white characters and they're making them black, that's right, because apparently as far as hollywood is concerned the only three races on Earth is White Black and Brown (occaisionally Arabs when you need a reminder of why we need to support any upcoming draft).Fact is I would like to see Asian Americans as what they essentially are – Middle-Class Whit-ish folks who like us have insecurities with modernity and personal foibles, but are also extremely talented and can do great stuff when up to the task. I wouldn't mind seeing Asian leads in adventure films or especially Romantic comedies and dramas.

  6. I wonder if they will add the part were after she was caught she was locked in a tower brutally raped and tortured and then murdered. you know.. how it happind…

  7. Well Disney made storm troopers black and women, they tend to multicultural stories, the story itself of mulaun or mulawn isn't even true ghengus Kaun took over China

  8. I hate this whole white washing bullshit. No one complains when black people play cowboys or medieval knights in historical movies. This is just anti-white, equal outcome not equal opportunity, move aside whites we're minorities give us special privilege-bullshit.

  9. I hate the idea of the new mulan being a love story just as much as I hate the idea of whitewashing. The fact that she was self reliant despite being a peasant is the greatest strength of the original animated movie. To introduce a generic love story would ruin the movie''s core appeal. White man or not.

  10. I want to see M. Night Shyamalan's version of Mulan! Not so much because I really want to see him making it, but out of pure curiosity.

  11. Hero? i really lkied that movie! i did find the idea of mass killing for the sake of unifying the nation a troubling aspect of the film..the film is still beautiful and idealistic. the TRC can use this to defend their reign of terror, but it has happened in many countries of the world as a means of creating unification. i don't condone mass killing as a means of national unity, especially in today's world where that shouldn't be acceptable at all..we should evolve past such archaic actions. are you listening TRC?

  12. Ok, to be honest, I went to watch the trailer of Ghost in the Shell, and… I don't really feel mad about it, plus Scarlett Johansson kinda plays the role of the main heroine in the original animated movie from what I could see in the trailer 😛
    This is just my own opinion, so pls don't hate >_<

  13. i'm more displeased by the lack of a live action robinhood. are there really so few talking animals around? casting would be quick if they go to a furry convention.

  14. WTF> What the European doing in movie talking about the Chinese story?
    Only Hollywood who doing this shit,
    Disney should not Use European People in Mulan and Aladdin movie, because this will be silly,
     I did not see any Arab or Chinese man in Snow white and Cinderella movie.

  15. Yep, Generally it is white washing ! Statistic speaks itself.

    In the Oscars' 88-year history, only 10 Asian films, including Life of Pi and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, have been nominated for “Best Picture" — and more white women playing Asian women have won Oscars than Asian women. Not that it’s an excuse, but the odds were never in our favor — Asian Americans only represented a little over 1% of the population for the majority of those past years. But according to the 2010 Census Asian Americans now make up at least 5% of the US, which is about 17 million people. Yet Teen Wolf’s Arden Cho points out that #OnlyONEPercent of lead roles in films go to Asian actors and actresses.

  16. So writing a script where a white guy exists is racist and white washing but black or asian people taking already existing white roles is progress? Double standards anyone?

  17. I'm starting to realize that Avatar is full of diverse characters. Zuko is mexican? I THINK NOT! A lot of people in the cartoon were asian.

  18. whats wrong with scarlet? she cant be kusanagi just because she is white? it is more like racism than white washing

  19. Hi Chris, what do you think about China's moves (Formosa Comp. polluting rivers in Vietnam , mass tourists, false claiming of the two island, Truong Sa and Hoang Sa, the killing of Vietnamese fishermen, etc) in Vietnam? I'm thinking Vietnam's fate is soon to be a province of China.

  20. The Last Airbender was white-washing, GITS and Dr.Strange was not white-washing.

    What was done to GITS by stuck up fans and SJW cancer was horrible. It was a descent film that was respectful to Japan.

    Dr.Strange went with a white women BECAUSE of China having a field day with Tibet, so can't claim white washing on it as it was catering to China so that they would not lose money on the film.

  21. I'm usually not a fan of these abstract issues but I can see where Hollywood has bastardized AMERICAN history and where American government has regulated content to control popular opinion about many subjects in addition to communism. You've done a great job of illustrating this travesty. Thanks again.

  22. You know, for every example of Hollywood telling a 'white savior' story, there's another story about the evil, morally grotesque white person who learns how to become a better person after they're instructed by a black, Asian or native American character. There's nothing actually wrong with any of this, however when it's the former, somehow that's considered a bad thing by certain circles.

    Sorry, but I can't quite let that double-standard go by unchecked. I love the rest of your work, China Uncensored. 🙂

    (P.S. I can't wait for the new Arthur movie, as an Englishman myself. I do love it when Hollywood takes my culture's treasured folklore and legends, like the Arthurian tradition and Robin Hood, and shall we say… 'updates' them for a modern audience, who want to see less historical authenticity, more speeches about liberty and dialogue reflective of current social politics. It makes me feel like they're taking such care of those cherished tales. After all, stories matter. They help shape how we see the world around us.)

    If we can update our own old stories and legends to suit a progressive mindset, then we can certainly do the same with those belonging to other cultures as well. Or, if we should leave stories the way they are, then maybe we should get back to portraying history accurately, and we can say goodbye to all the women warriors we're treated to in every Hollywood blockbuster nowadays. Etc. Really, it comes down to which side of the double-standard you want to stand on at any given time.

    Personally, I think we should stop being upset when other cultures poach each other's stuff, and change it.

  23. Hey I heard you mentioned ghost in a shell. I watched that film because a girl whose mother is japanese and who can actually speak and write some japanese asked me to go with her. Now, you guys may have a point in some cases but what's the point here, respecting different cultures, or poisoning all of them with political correctness and imposing societal restrictions on creativity? I'm afraid the second one prevails. While you're busy asking for democracy in China I hope my fellow Westerners will not be poisoned by this new wave of intellectual garbage.

  24. Haha I loved the part when Shelley brought up the viewership being mostly white males and them wanting to hear from white males about Chinese issues lol. This so happens in real life, people get so angry when the topics aren't centered around them

  25. I disagree with China Uncensored on this one, there's a huge difference between going to a foreign country and trying to impose your version of history on the populace than making stories in your home country for entertainment, if you want to take a story from somewhere else and interpret that in your own way that's perfectly fine, this happens in every country in the world from India to Mexico to Japan, and it's never seen as a problem, here in America it's hugely controversial though because of the higher mix of people from different races than other countries have, and don't think it should be treaty any differently because of that though, if people don't like your story it's not a problem, it's just your opinion on that story, some people like it some people don't like it, if you don't like then make your own different story.

  26. Normally I brush all this stuff off, but the white boy version of mulan INFURUATES ME TO THE BOTTOM OF MY SOUL!!!! I actually have enough self esteem to not run around projecting white character's onto other people's legends.

    An other thing that bothers me is that yes: white people, like anyone else have done some pretty shitty things. We've mostly moved past these ills, and absolved our sins by contributing more to life saving medicine, science, technology, and ideological changes then anyone ever before in history.

    Other nations are now starting to follow suite, but we should not be continually clobbered over the head with slavery for example, when WE were the ones who first outlawed it. Meanwhile Africans and Middle Easterners still have tons slaves, and most people from that part of the world are bearily above animals. I believe this to be mainly due to backwards culture and sharia, but there is simply no excuse any more.

    We should remember the atrocities committed by western civilisations, but also appriciate their numerous contributions. In 150 years maybe Africa will be the next big power house in medical and humanitarian progress, but that wouldn't mean that we should forget their past. It would also be absurd to slander future generations for what their great great grandparents are doing now.

    Anyways, sorry for the long rant and I hope y'all get my point. I hope for the advancement of all humanity, and also for my kind to not be held up as that next Satan. Peace out

  27. 看不懂 就翻译吧。
    西藏就是中国的一部分。一句话,我们国家的事情轮不到你们说三道四。

  28. I'm confused. Disney did a great job with Mulan so why would they give Mulan a white leading man now that they cast a Chinese actress as Mulan? They did that with Pocahontas but Pocahontas story was manipulated from the start to censor European crimes on Native Americans. The story of Mulan had nothing of that sort to deal with.

  29. Well there is some good news however bad the story is. Crystal Liu has been cast as Mulan.

    This is a seismic victory as you couldn't have picked a better choice here. She is the daughter of An ShaoKang.

    Who is a first secretary in the Chinese Embassy in France. Crystal is well-versed in period roles & is quite suited for Mulan.

    She is also among the four young Dan actresses in China Today. I am shocked Disney had enough insight to cast her. It's a step in the right direction.

    But this could all be undone by the casting of a white male lead!! What a complete bonehead move considering they were off to such a good start.

    However add to this the recent news of Ed Skrein. Who was cast in the upcoming Hellboy reboot. Pulled out of the film so that the role could be cast appropriately.

    Which went to Korean-American actor Daniel Dae Kim. I'm hoping this is a sign of things to come. Small steps are better than nothing right? 🙂

  30. All these white boys screaming about how Hollywood "blacks" white characters, or how the Last Samurai is not about Tom Cruise, fuck you and I hope Europe and America is taken over by barbaric third world immigrants.

  31. It’s silly to think you can’t relate to people if they are the same race and gender as you. You can still think someone is cool if they aren’t of the same race or culture.

  32. The opera at no point says that Wenchang brought Buddhism to Tibet. Tang dynasty sources do and the opera decided to not mention this. Also, why would the anti-Buddhist Zhou Enlai promote Buddhism?

  33. Well, honestly I don’t care about whitewashing. It’s more about the character. If it is an Asian character I expect to see him/her performed by an Asian looking actor/actress.

  34. Disney can make whatever movie they want. I don't like Disney, but we live in a free country. The Chinese people obviously have the perogative to make their own version of the story providing that the ccp approves it. Or, we can tell other people how to spend their money to make ourselves feel good. I garantee every retailing of aesop's fables is recast in the race of the people telling it, and it's still good.

  35. The main charscter in Ghost in the shell, has a FULL BODY PROSTHETIC, that looks very much european/at best racially ambiguous. Haters should at least bother to read the originals. Also didn't the author of ghost in the shell, and others etc. play characters in the movie? Don't you think especially THEY would have said something if they would have been 'bothered' by johamson playing the main character?!

  36. I heard similar mawkish cant speech (parable or not), to justify Japan's aggression against China in the 1930s and 40s; "Japan is the energetic younger brother, waking up the lazy elder brother (China)". And so on.

  37. When I heard they didn't cast Jennifer Lawrence as Mulan, I lost all interest.

    China has already done Mulan in a more serious vein and it can be found on YouTube. On the whole, I'd rather like to see Mulan remain
    as the cartoon character.

  38. Wow, how things in Hollywood have changed… not necessarily for the better. They've gone full-on PC now…

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