Whitewashing “Mulan” not appropriate

How whitewashing this remake would be a disgrace to the original


Disney, one of the most popular and successful film production companies, has been remaking their classic animated films into live-action movies. The Jungle Book, Cinderella, and Pete’s Dragon are all examples of Disney films that have been remade. Now, Mulan, the animated movie about a girl who disguises herself as a male and takes her father’s place in a war against the Huns, is being added to that list.

TheWrap.com discusses how the role of Mulan may possibly be whitewashed–cast with Caucasian individuals in roles that should be filled with actors or actresses of color–by Hollywood. I believe that Mulan and the entire cast should be Asian actors and actresses.

As a child, I remember watching Mulan and being enamored by the heroic princess on my screen. I barely saw her as a princess, but more as a brave woman who had the drive and determination to accomplish what she set out to do. She defied the principles expected of women at the time, and she made it seem OK for a girl not to be dainty.

Mulan was not only an icon for women, she was an icon for anyone of the Asian ethnicity. No longer would most characters of color in shows or movies be cast as side characters or villains. Because of her cultural influence, Mulan must be cast as an Asian actress.

The proper way casting of Mulan has been shown before in Disney’s successful TV show, “Once Upon a Time,” where Jamie Chung played Mulan. She is of Korean descent, and hopefully someone of her background and acting talents will play Mulan in the live-action version.

I am not alone in hoping that Hollywood doesn’t whitewash the actors and actresses in this film. On thepetitionsite.com, over 87,000 people have signed a petition that calls for Disney to cast only people of Asian descent to play the original Chinese cast of Mulan. The petition hopes to reach 90,000 signatures to show Disney the peoples’ strong opinion.

A whitewashed cast would affect the movie negatively; it would lose its original magic if it were cast with Caucasians instead of Asians, not to mention that children of Asian background should feel as if they can be the heroes–the heroes they are rarely depicted as by Hollywood.

There are so many capable Asian actresses that deserve the chance to fill the spot of a strong, Asian warrior woman. Hollywood should give them that opportunity.