SINGAPORE – Several actors have come under fire online for their remarks regarding the ongoing Hong Kong protests.
The latest is Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei, for her comment supporting Hong Kong’s police force as clashes between protesters and the police continue in the city.
Liu, 31, who will star in the 2020 Disney live-action remake of Mulan as the titular heroine, posted the comment on China’s Weibo microblogging platform on Wednesday (Aug 14).
Liu, who has about 65 million followers on Weibo, shared a post by China’s People’s Daily news outlet which carried an image with the words “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now”.
The image also had the line “What a shame for Hong Kong”, said entertainment news outlet, The Hollywood Reporter.
Liu added the hashtag “#IAlsoSupportTheHongKongPolice” in her post.
According to media reports, the post received more than 72,000 likes and over 65,000 shares in less than 24 hours.
But netizens also slammed the posts on social media, with many calling for the public to boycott Disney’s Mulan remake, and the hashtag “#BoycottMulan” trending on Twitter in the United States early on Friday.
Twitter user Cheuk Ting Ho wrote that she was happy when Disney announced the live-action remake of Mulan as the character was a childhood hero.
But she was disappointed to see the actress who will play the character “not empathise with the protesters in Hong Kong”.
“They are fighting for their homeland like Mulan,” she said in her post, which included the hashtag “#BoycottMulan”.
Another Twitter user, John Stone, who also urged for a boycott of the new Mulan movie, said the actress stood “against the people of Hong Kong”.
Liu, who has been nicknamed “Fairy Sister” by her Chinese audience, spent part of her childhood in New York and has acted in English-language films, including 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom, opposite actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li.
Chan, a Hong Kong action star, has also faced backlash for remarks on the ongoing tensions in the city.
In an interview with China Global Television Network posted to YouTube on Tuesday, Chan, 65, said: “Recently there have been events in Hong Kong that have made people sad and depressed…
“I’ve visited many countries while our country was rapidly developing in recent years, I feel the pride of being a Chinese everywhere; the five-starred red flag is respected worldwide.”
Chan added that “Hong Kong is my birthplace and my home, China is my country; I love my country and my home”.
“I really hope Hong Kong can return to peace soon,” he said.
In response to the interview, pro-democracy Twitter account Hong Kong World City wrote “Hong Kong hates you”,while Twitter user JP said: “When we tell you we’re from Hong Kong, please never ask us about Jackie Chan ever again.”
Chan, who is best known for his martial arts stunts, has starred in several Chinese and American movies, including Drunken Master (1978), Police Story (1985) and Rumble In The Bronx (1995).