Producers Dropped a Character from the Mulan Remake Because of MeToo

Illustration for article titled Producers Dropped a Character from the iMulan/i Remake Because of MeToo
Image: Disney

The live-action remake of Mulan is shaping up to be pretty good! Not only does the trailer look promising, but producers have wisely decided to drop what seems like an unnecessary and possibly problematic character: Mulan’s male commander, General Li Shang.

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In the 1998 animated version, Li Shang develops a bond with Mulan’s male alter ego, Ping; after she’s revealed to be a woman, the two have dinner together. But producer Jason Reed told Collider that given the current political climate, it seemed smart to have Li Shang sit this one out:

“I think particularly in the time of the #MeToo movement, having a commanding officer that is also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn’t think it was appropriate,” he said.

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We split Li Shang into two characters. One became Commander Tung (Donnie Yen) who serves as her surrogate father and mentor in the course of the movie. The other is Honghui (Yoson An) who is [Mulan’s] equal in the squad.”

Full disclosure: Though I’ve seen the animated version of Mulan, I can’t for the life of me remember a single character besides, you know, Mulan, and therefore can’t judge whether there was anything untoward going on between her and Li Shang. Plenty of people have expressed contempt for the decision to bench the general for this version, but I say: Can there ever be a truly equal relationship between two people with massive power differentials? Duke it out in the comments.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

This is dumb. At no point in his time as commander is Li Shang interested in Mulan; if anything, it’s the opposite (though she would never approach him).

He only becomes interested in her after she is her authentic self, and after initially dismissing her — when he’s ignored by the rest of her friends (MADE when she was pretending to be a man) who immediately trust in her abilities — sees that she’s really his equal as a woman, and not a subordinate as a man.

And then the motherfucking Emperor tells him “You don’t meet a girl like that every dynasty.” So, he’s got the hots after he’s met the real her, and his god-Emperor has given his blessing... I think we’re good here?

Also, I may be pissed we’re not getting a new musical rendition of “I’ll Make a Man Out Of You!”

LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS...